The Q&A Archives: what is this plant?

Question: A friend bought a plant at a yard sale -- the lady said it's an orchid- it grows upright and has medium sized smooth-sided leaves with a point on the very end -- velvety dark lime green leaves with pink veins. I've had it for a year, and it has never bloomed. Can you tell me what it is so that I'll know how to care for it? thank you so much.

Answer: Sandra,

It sounds like you are describing a "Jewel Orchid". This is a terestrial type of orchid, in that it grows in a potting soil rather than on bark. It normally blooms in the winter. They are easy to grow in normal indoor condition. Provide bright but indirect sunlight. There are several genera and many species of Jewel Orchids. The Jewel Orchid you described is probably the genus and species Ludisia discolor. The following web pages provide a photo and cultural information on Jewel Orchid.

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