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LUDISIA discolor

Image of Ludisia discolor

Mark Kane

Family

Orchidaceae

Botanical Name

LUDISIA discolor

Plant Common Name

Jewel Orchid

General Description

An alluring foliage plant, the jewel orchid becomes more ornate when days are short by bearing upright clusters of tiny white blossoms. A native of the tropical regions of southeastern Asia, from China to Indonesia, this terrestrial orchid lacks pseudobulbs but grows from an elongated, creeping rhizome from which emanates stout, fleshy roots.

The pointy, oblong to elliptical leaves are deep green to chocolate-black with underlying red tones and pinkish silver veins. The leaf undersides are deepest maroon. From fall to early spring, when growing conditions are favorable, upright clusters (raceme) of tiny white flowers with yellow caps appear. These are faintly fragrant and insect pollinated.

Grow jewel orchid in frost-free gardens or conservatories with bright, indirect light. They grow best in a well-drained pot with a combination of grit and peat potting mix. To keep the foliage looking perfect, keep the soil evenly moist, but never wet, and offer good air movement and high ambient humidity. Jewel orchid is relatively easy to grow and makes an attractive houseplant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    5"-12" / 12.7cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    18"-30" / 45.7cm - 76.2cm

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia, China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Groundcover, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No