Guest Author - Susan Taylor
>Goodyera daibuzanensis is one of the popularly called
>Jewel Orchids known for their lovely foliage rather than for their flowers which are generally not very interesting, picture of flower>. Terrarium enthusiasts use this and many other Jewel Orchid plants to add leaf color and variety to their generally plain green environments much as gardeners use outdoor plants for the same purpose.
Jewel orchids are distributed widely throughout Southeast Asia, North and South America, and Australia. They are generally terrestrial in nature, growing in leaf mold in forested areas. They are spreading plants so can be placed directly in medium in a terrarium and they will quickly spread to provide a great show. Many jewel orchids will grow when just one piece is broken off and placed in appropriate medium and these babies can be given to friends for them to enjoy.
The various sp species are found around the world, some even in the northern US where they are known to as "Rattlesnake Plantain." Most species are native to India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Goodyera daibuzanensis is found only on Taiwan, where it is quite common in mountainous forests between 800 and 2,000 meters where it will receive a good deal of rain. It is one of the smallest of the Jewel Orchids, with leaves only 2 inches, or 5 centimeters, long. The leaves grow in a really pretty rosette fashion which shows the silver and green striping and mottling to advantage. The flower inflorescences will grow to 10 inches, or 25 centimeters, high with small white flowers which are presented with a spiral around the stem.
Grow this little orchid in a terrarium with high humidity among other similar plants. Provide good air circulation to combat the formation of mold or bacterial problems. They require low light conditions which make them very easy to maintain in a home environment. Too much light will bleach their leaves to dull colors and you will lose the lovely contrast and velvety texture for which these plants are so prized. Many terrarium growers will simply cut off any inflorescences since they are often too big for a small container and are not at all showy.
To learn more about growing in a terrarium, Growing Orchids in a Terrarium or Wardian Case. This is a form of growing that is becoming more and more popular today. An excellent source for Jewel Orchids is Hoosier Orchids