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Ludisia discolor


Ludisia discolor (Ker Gawl.) A. Rich.

Family Name: Orchidaceae
Synonyms: Haemaria discolor
Common Name: Jewel Orchid, Black Jewel Orchid, Jewelled Ludisia, 血叶兰

Jewel Orchid, Ludisia discolor is known more for its velvety leaves of brownish to olive green, marked with white to pink veins and reddish undersides. This herbaceous plant grows well as indoor plant under partial light on well-drained, moist soil.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 10 mm to 60 mm
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 10 mm to 45 mm


Native Distribution Southern China, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia (Sumatra)
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)
CITES Protection True (Appendix II)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Terrestrial orchid with erect growth habit.
Foliage Brownish to olive green leaves (5 - 8 cm long) have whitish to pinkish venation and reddish underside. Velvety leaves are narrowly ovate to elliptic with entire leaf margin.
Flowers Small, fragrant flowers are white with yellow center. They are arranged in spike inflorescences borne on long stalks (30 cm long).
Fruit Fruits are seed pods.
Cultivation This orchid is easy-to-grow. It should be planted in fertile, well-drained, but moist soil (eg., potting mix for African violets or a mixture of fine bark, coconut peat and isolite). Plants grow well in partial shade to shade (85 - 90%). It prefers moist air, so place potted plants next to other plants to increase humidity. Avoid overwatering which leads to root rot. Propagate by stem cuttings. Stems placed in water will root after several weeks and even bloom.
Etymology The species epithet "discolor" means that the plant is composed of 2 different colours.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping This species is grown for its ornamental foliage which have striking venation. It is suitable as an indoor plant and grows well in terrariums.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Focal Plant, Terrarium, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Pest(s) Chewing Insects, Sucking Insects
Propagation Method Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Brown, Green, Red
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose, Thick
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Brown, Red
Young Flush Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oval)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Herbaceous
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Individual Flower Shape Labiate / Lipped
Flowering Period Free-Flowering, A Few Times Yearly
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 908
Species ID 2202
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 25 April 2023.