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Ludisia discolor
  • RHS AGM

black jewel orchid

L. discolor is a terrestrial orchid with a creeping rhizome and velvety, dark purple-brown leaves, 4-7cm long with red or gold veins; flowers to 2cm long are borne on an 8cm stem and are white with a yellow lip

Synonyms
Anoectochilus ordianus
Anoectochilus discolor
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green White Gold Purple Red
Summer
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1A
Botanical details
Family
Orchidaceae
Native to the UK
No
Genus

Ludisia is one of a small group of terrestrial orchids grown for their ornamental leaves rather than their flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Himalaya to Java

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in a shallow pot, in an airy position with good humidity. Grows best in houseplant compost or a mixture of medium to coarse bark with a small amount of sphagnum moss. Allow the compost to dry out between waterings and feed frequently with orchid fertiliser. See Orchids: indoor cultivation for further information

Propagation

Plant the fleshy stems that break off in sphagnum moss until roots form - approximately 6 weeks, cuttings can then be potted up into houseplant compost after about 6 months

Suggested planting locations and garden types
Pruning

Cut back flower stems when the flowers die

Pests

Susceptible to aphids, glasshouse red spider mite and mealybugs

Diseases

Generally disease free

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