Found a jewel orchid in deep woods ??
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  #1  
Old 08-21-2013, 12:54 PM
greenpassion greenpassion is offline
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Found a jewel orchid in deep woods ??
 

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Found a jewel orchid in deep woods ?? Female
Question Found a jewel orchid in deep woods ??

I was out in the woods today with my dogs, looking for mosses and lichens for the terrariums I have been making, when I came across a small group of little cool looking plants at the base of a tree. This forest is very acidic, home to hemlocks and other evergreens. I dug up a few that didn't have what looked like flower stalks on them. I planted them in a shallow dish with other mosses, and as I was looking at them, it occurred to me that they look a lot like jewel orchids. I grow phals and oncs, and was never interested in jewel orchids-until now. Can this be an actual jewel orchid-growing in the deep woods at the base of a tree? And if it is, and it's been growing in dense acidic soil, why would I need to plant it in spag moss-or anything else? Anyone care to jump in here?
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:06 PM
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RosieC RosieC is offline
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First off I have to say that taking orchids from the wild is a big no-no. (Actually in the UK it's illegal to take any wild plant, but there we go).

Anyway... I don't grow jewel orchids in moss. I grow them in soil. It's the only orchid I grown in soil. I do try and make sure it's not too dense but still they seem to not mind and just dig through anything.

I have no idea where they natively grow so not sure if that's what you could have found. Do you have any pics?
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2013, 02:27 PM
greenpassion greenpassion is offline
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Found a jewel orchid in deep woods ??
 

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Found a jewel orchid in deep woods ?? Female
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Rosie, I don't have pics yet, but I'll try to get a few taken so you can see. I had no idea that it's a bad thing, if it is an orchid. I have lived here in my house, and run and hiked these woods for over 30 years and have never seen this plant. Not that I usually am looking for plants other than mosses and lichen. Today I went in search of pixi cup lichen, and just happen to glance down to the right of the trail, and noticed these little guys.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:40 PM
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gnathaniel gnathaniel is offline
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Sounds like Goodyera pubescens aka 'downy rattlesnake plantain,' it grows in abundance around here esp. at higher elevations and has a wide geographic range. There are some other N. American species in the genus if that's not the one.

Rosie is right, it's generally a bad idea to remove orchids (or really any plant, incl. mosses) from wild habitats without being aware of legal status and cultural needs. I'm not sure what your state/local rules are, but at the very least make sure you have the landowner's permission (which may not be obtainable/legal if it's public land).

That said, Goodyera pubescens is pretty easy in pot culture, unlike most other native orchids. Sphag and fine bark mixes can be a good way to approximate its natural preference for well-drained acid soils, but a good-quality acid soil mix should work fine, too. Low light and wide, shallow pots are a good idea, and some seasonal temperature variation will help it do better long-term. Around here I mostly see them flowering in late spring and early summer, flowers are small and white but pretty inconspicuous compared to the gorgeous foliage. Hope this helps!
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Last edited by gnathaniel; 08-21-2013 at 02:43 PM..
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2013, 03:14 PM
NYCorchidman NYCorchidman is offline
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Found a jewel orchid in deep woods ??
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Yes, let us all leave the nature as is.
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