Epiphyte; stems pseudobulbous, cylindrical, fusiform or club-shaped, branched, often pendent, 5-50 cm long, 1-2 cm wide. Leaves plicate, lanceolate, acute or acuminate, 6-40 cm long, to 5 cm wide, moderately thin, +/- undulate, the persistent imbricating bases enclosing stems. Racemes short, usually solitary from axils of new leaf growth; floral bracts pale green, the veins light violet-purple; flowers 3-7, 2.5-4 cm long; sepals fleshy, yellow at apex, yellow-cream at base, 2-3 cm long; petals less fleshy than sepals, about as long as lateral sepals, creamy white with red veins and spotting in apical half; lip yellow or white, trilobate, the middle lobe sometimes purple with paler markings; pollinia 8. Fruits narrowly ellipsoid, 5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, ribs broad. Though still somewhat uncertain, Fowlie (1971) believed Panamanian material belongs to C. aurea, of Venezuela and Colombia, and that it is distinct, therefore, from C. maculata (Hook.) Fowlie, a species ranging from Costa Rica north to Nicaragua and perhaps Honduras. Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. In Panama, known only from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone (BCI and the Pipeline Road north of Gamboa).