This is a large, perennial, and epiphyte, or at times a terrestrial plant, growing in sometimes spectacular clumps, attached to the branches of tall trees. The white, needle-like, aerial roots are characteristic for this orchid. They point upwards, taking the form of a basket around the tall, many-noded, fusiform, canelike, yellow pseudobulbs, catching the decaying leaves and detritus upon which the plant feeds. These pseudobulbs can develop a gigantic size, up to 60 cm long. This robust orchid can grow very large, sometimes with an estimated weight over a tonne. Even eagle owls (Bubo bubo) have been seen to make their nest in such a clump. The roots which penetrate the substrate can become very thick and cord-like to support the weight of the plants, and are typically very different in form than the roots which comprise the trash basket as the aerial roots are non-absorbing. Breakdown and absorption of nutrients by the plant from the trash basket is performed by its fungal symbionts and the active absorbing roots. These pseudobulbs carry on their top 6 to 7, narrowly ligulate-lanceolate, acute, plicate, leathery leaves. They give rise to a paniculate inflorescence, up to 85 cm long, with many (10 to 100), delicately scented flowers, 6 cm across. The three-lobed lip grows into three yellow projections. The tepals are yellow or greenish yellow, lightly or heavily marked with brown spots. The flowers are short-lived, seldom lasting longer than 10 days, but are produced in abundance provided the plants have received high light levels throughout the year.