Ground Orchids

There are a few people that have expressed surprise to know of orchids growing on the ground - "Don't they all grow on charcoal ?". Besides the mixed bag shown here, there are also the Paphiopedilums, one of the most revered amongst fanciers.


The dark damp rainforest floor is the home of many small species of orchids known collectively as Jewel orchids due to their nicely patterned leaves. Some of them are well known in the horticulture trade but besides the L. discolor, most are not easy for beginners. 

1: Ludisia discolor

2: Nephelaphyllum pulchrum

3: Malaxis calophylla (this plant was found on a large boulder in lowland of West Malaysia)



4. Tainia pauciflora 

5: Spathiglottis is well known for their ornamental flower and the mauve coloured species is commonly seen in many tropical landscapes. Shown here is S. affinis, a deciduous species with  bright luminous yellow bloom.

6: Plocoglottis javanica, widespread in Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo and many parts of Indonesia. 

4. .



7: Arudinia graminacea has grass-like foliage and thrives in open waste area. This is a plant from SE Asia but in some places like Hawaii, it has established to become a weed. 

8: Claderia viridifolia is a semi-terrestrial plant - it runs along the ground by long stolons and then climb a short distance up a tree whereby it will flower. Vegetatively its not unlike a Coelogyne but its flower is unique - alas, the long leafless stolon is a pain for would-be growers. There are only 2 species in this genus, this one from SE Asia and another from New Guinea.\

9. There are more than 600 species of Habenaria - a deciduous tuberous orchid. Shown is a H.rhodochelia.

10. Another flowering Malaxis on a leaf-strewn boulder at about 100m. a.s.l.  







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