Thursday, June 2, 2011

Plant Find: Two new jewel orchids

My good friend, Warren, recently sent me some starts to a couple of jewel orchids.  This is the same Warren who gave me the Sarcoglottis last year.  What a great friend!

My new jewel orchids are Macodes petola and Ludisia discolor.

Macodes petola
The Macodes has bright green leaves (though mine are more yellow right now) with prominent veins that look like gold thread.  They are notoriously hard to photograph in a way that shows off their attractive veins.

Ludisia discolor
The Ludisia looks similar to another jewel orchid in the Macodes genus - Macodes lowii.  However, M. lowii has rounder leaves and more prominent branching of the veins, while Ludisia discolor has pointed leaves and bold red parallel veins.  Both of these orchids have very dark leaves, but I think Ludisia discolor is darker.  In fact, Ludisia discolor is sometimes called "The Black Jewel Orchid."

The newly dedicated orchid terrarium
I talked with Warren about how to best grow these orchids, since they are a little different from some of the others that I grow and he suggested a terrarium.  So, I decided to do a little remodeling in my tall glass terrarium that has been more or less vacant for a while.  It now contains these two jewel orchids, my Macodes lowii and an Anthurium bakeri seedling.  I am setting this terrarium in a shady place in my greenhouse and hoping to get some good results from these orchids.

What do you think?


  1. It is very different. Will look forward to its blooms...

  2. I love Macodes petola. It was actually the plant that started me buying plants on eBay ( Mine, sadly, is no longer with me. Not sure what I did to end him, but I've got a few other jewel orchids in a terrarium now. The love the humidity, but be sure to keep it out of direct light, because they can bake if they get too hot.