A jewel of an orchid

Orchid fanciers Derek and Joseph correctly identified Friday’s mystery plant as a jewel orchid, specifically Macodes petola:


Friday’s sparkly leaf photo shows why “jewel orchid” is the common name used for several genera of orchids with showstopping foliage.

And Ray noted that Goodyera spp. (rattlesnake plantain) is a native US jewel orchid with beautiful variegated foliage. Next time you’re hiking in the woods, keep your eye out for this common yet striking plant.

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - www.facebook.com/TheGardenProfessors "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/GardenProfessors Books: http://www.sustainablelandscapesandgardens.com

2 thoughts on “A jewel of an orchid”

  1. I have never seen this plant before.
    Are there only certain regions of the US where it can be found? I’m living in SE Texas (just north of Houston) and we are spending a fair amount of time in the outdoors and see a lot of plants.

  2. PJ, you mean the Goodyera, right? (Because the Macodes is not in North America.) Follow this link: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GOODY to find the list of the 4 native species and where they are found. I’m sorry to tell you that a few states don’t have any of these, and Texas is one of them. But Oklahome and Arkansas do…

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