July 6, 2009

The Beauty of Jewel Orchids

By Mel Beauchamp

Orchids are normally admired for their intricate petal designs and colors. Jewel orchids are different because it's not their petals that make them famous, it's their leaves. They are terrestrial or ground plants and must be grown in open areas that are not crowded. Rainforests, especially those in Asia, are haven to the jewel orchid species. Unchanging moistness and high humidity are good conditions for a jewel orchid to flourish. They can even be grown inside bathrooms due to their high humidity. But there are other varieties of jewel plants that tend to like lesser humidity.

A jewel orchid that is easy to grow at home is the Ludisia discolor. A trivial fact about the Ludisia is that when cut apart, they will root out and grow. You can dip the cuttings in a glass of water or Sphagnum moss and it would generate new roots in only a short span of time. This makes it possible to produce large bunches of these plants in a container. Multiplying rapidly is a rather common trait among jewel orchids. These kinds of orchids are a plant from Southeast Asia. They have dark green velvety leaves that have reddish veins. They are an ideal houseplant because they can grow with low light and can easily adjust to temperatures at home.

Goodyera hispida is another type of a jewel orchid. They have lovely light green leaves with white outstretched veins. Vietnam and India are places where this variety of orchid comes from. The Macodes sanderiana is a jewel orchid with dark green velvety leaves and golden veins. They can be easily grown in bathrooms or kitchens since they need high humidity as a requirement for growth.

The veins of a jewel orchid leaves are very prominent, a feature that makes jewel orchids stand out. Vein colors can range from deep red to silver and all the other colors in between. The leaf color though is like any other plant leaves and can range from light green to dark green, which almost looks black.

The shapes of the leaves are usually oblong or heart shaped. It is uncommon to see them elongated. They tend to be short and rounded most of the time. This type of orchid doesn't usually grow very tall or very big due to its terrestrial nature.

Genus Anoectochilus of the jewel orchids was used in China for Medicinal purposes. Tea made from its leaves cured lung and liver diseases. Proof that not only are these plants attractive, but they also have medicinal effects.

Jewel orchids bear flowers but they are not as interesting to look at as their leaves. Some flowers do have scents that are very appealing to the nose. The sight of their leaves and the intricate patterns of the veins that are almost thought to be woven into the leaves are very captivating.

They are typically grown on rich humus soil and are often found under the shade of larger plants or where water seeps down on rock surfaces. They are more suitable for growth indoors, although in their natural habitat they thrive outdoors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mel_Beauchamp

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