Ground Orchid
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Ground orchid, also known as Spathoglottis is a terrestrial orchid. It is native to the Southeastern Asia to the Philippines. This plant, Ground orchid is mostly a perennial plant in central and southern Florida. It is unique specie of flower for unlike the other species of orchid, this orchid grows underground instead of on the branches of a tree. Thus, it is named ground orchid. It falls in the category of bulbous plant. It is possible to grow ground orchid in containers, flower beds and under the ground. It is not difficult to grow this plant for it grows best in partial shade and moderately moist soil. It is not much a fussy plant.

Common information:

Scientific name: Spathoglottis Plicata

Family   : Orchidaceae

Color     : White, violet/lavender, light pink, orange-yellow

Common name: ground orchid

Description: Like most of the plants, ground orchid also grows up to 2 feet fall. It has high tolerance of partial to full sunlight. This specie of orchid blooms throughout the year in warm areas such as southern Florida and central Florida.

Flowers:  It gives rise to beautiful bloom of different colors such as pink, peach, orange, yellow, magenta, purple and white.

Leaves: The leaves of ground orchids are broad with prominent parallel venation. 

Propagation: The propagation of ground orchid takes place through the division method. Make sure that you enrich the soil with garden soil, manure made of cow dung and leaf mould. It is possible to make several separations from a single bulb and plant them as individual plant in a pot or in the ground keeping the gap of 3 to 6 inches apart. 

It is suggested to provide regular water during the bloom time and add extra amount of manure or fertilizer. It will prove good if the plant is given partial shade in very hot climatic areas.

Cut off the dead and unwanted leaves and flowers when they are worn out.

Uses: One of the most visible uses of ground orchid is that they make stunning garden decoration. They produce constant bloom throughout the bloom period. They serve as beds and borders.

How to take good care of ground orchid?

It is suggested to place the plant in warm area with full sunlight in the morning hours and partial shade during the afternoon and evening hours.

We need to water the orchid in every alternate day for around three weeks after the plantation. The watering process can be lessened as the plant starts to mature. Also check the plant and cut off the dead flowers and leaves.

It is always good to add fertilizers and manure to the plant especially during the bloom season.

The rhizomes can withstand only during the warm summer months. Thus, in areas where the weather is cold and the ground is likely to get frozen, it is best suggested to lift the rhizome off the ground and store it in a warm, damp free room.

Plant the rhizome back to the ground once the winter is over or spring season shoots up.

Chinese ground orchid (Bletilla striata) : Bletilla striata is commonly named Chinese ground orchid or hardy orchid. It falls in the category of bulbous flower. It is originally from the temperate zone. It is a perennial plant where the weather is warm and grows from rhizome/bulb. It is commonly named as Urn orchid. It is terrestrial and a temperate plant. It is commonly found in Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Myanmar.The clumps can be divided as they turn into large bulbs. This ground orchid give rise to beautiful colored flowers such as pink, purple, white, and red. Unlike the other tropical plants, B.Striata has colorful and attractive leaves even while not in flowering state. It grows up to 12 to 24 inches high. It is possible to plant this orchid in containers. The planted orchid can be easily lifted during the fall season when the ground is likely to frozen up.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Angiosperm

Sub division: monocot

Order           : Asparagales

Family    : Orchidaceae

Sub family: Epidendroideae

Tribe   : Arethuseae

Subtribe : Coelogyninae

Alliance: Calanthe

Genus  : Bletilla


The planting process for B.Striata:

B.Striata is not a difficult to plant kind of plant. Even a beginner gardener can easily plant this plant making sure that the ground is well drained, soil is evenly moist and well fertilized. It is good to plant Bletilla species in a pot and keep them protected from cold frost during the winter months. Like the other ground orchids, water the plant sparingly during the active growing stage.

It is commonly called Chinese ground orchid or hardy orchid. It is common in the nursery for trade purpose though sold in cheap.

Protect the plant from frost by covering the rhizome in a sheet or a newspaper and store it in a damp free environment.

Medicinal uses: B.Straita is mostly used in as the Chinese Medicinal herb. The rhizome is dried, sliced and ground into a powdered form.

The traditional medicine made out of B.Striata helps cure swellings and bleeding in the  lungs, stomach and liver.

The modern use of B.Striata is that it helps cure sores, ulcers and cracked skin.

It also helps stop bleeding, heal wounds, reduce swelling, treat coughs and help in the growth of tissues.

Common species of Bletilla are:

·       Bletilla chartacea

·       Bletilla foliosa

·       Bletilla formosana

·       Bletilla ochracea

·       Bletilla striata

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