Goodyera hispida

Goodyera the genus

A genus of about 25 species found on all continents except Africa. Most of the species are somewhat insignificant green leafed, ground dwelling or lithophytic plants, with a rhizome that creeps over the leafmould and forest floor litter.

Jewel Orchids

Generally classed as Jewel Orchids, several species are known for their variegated or veined foliage, and are known to those collectors who specialise in Jewel Orchids.

Goodyera hispida Goodyera hispida is such a species, prized for its very beautiful foliage of emerald green, slightly flushed pink, with prominent silver veins and reticulation. The flowers are tiny, green, tipped white. Each leaf grows to 7 cm long, by 2.5 cm wide, with a resulting rosette of about 15 cm, and in a clump, presents a most attractive plant.

As these plants are creepers, their rhizome should never be buried in the potting mix, but placed so that it sits on top. A suitable mix to grow them in must be well drained, but holding enough moisture so that the roots do not dry out.

Several mixs could be used, from a coarse sandy gravel with leafmould or fine bark, to shredded spaghnum moss mixed with shredded isolite, polystyrene foam, the latter to keep the spaghnam moss a little more open.

The beautiful silver veining on the green background indicates a dweller of the the very shady forest or jungle. It takes advantage of a niche, a darker place, where normal sunloving plants leave room for others. So a shady place in the bushhouse is needed, in with Phalaenopsis and mottled leaf Paphiopedilums, out of reach of slugs and snails, where it is cool and damp.

Goodyera hispida extends from India to Malaya, and seems to be tolerant of our tropical climate when grown in a shady position in a well drained media that keeps the roots damp, but not wet. A lovely species, a well grown plant would be a Jewel in any orchid growers crown.

Text by Ian Walters.
May be reproduced provided source acknowledged.