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(Ker Gawl.) A. Rich.
Ludisia is a genus of orchid that contains just one species, Ludisia discolor, commonly referred to as jewel orchid. They are native to Malaysia, Indonesia and Burma, and often cultivated. It is a terrestrial orchid, in its natural setting found growing on the forest floor. It is known for its foliage, which is velvety deep maroon leaves with red veins that run parallel to the centre.
Flowers are white with twisting yellow columns. Individual flowers are small but grow in clusters on upright stalks. Flowers in cultivation last a month or more.
They need high humidity and warm temperatures with low to medium light, and they tolerate extremely low light levels.
- Ludisia discolor alba, an albino variant, and
- Ludisia discolor nigrascens, a mutation often referred to as "black velvet."
Illustration from Orchids and how to grow them, 1875, by Samuel Jennings
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