Culture of Goodyera
World Wide Jewel Orchids

Jewel Orchid Cultural Information by Michael Dorris

Goodyera, named in honor of John Goodyer, English Botanist (1592-1664), created by Robert Brown in 1813 in W. Aiton et W.T. Aiton, Hortus Kewensis. With 30 or more species from sea level to alpine and from the old world to new world. A very common genus in temperate woodlands in the northern hemisphere. Goodyeras shows up in some medicinal herbals but there is little consistency of use. There is a lore about this plant curing snake bites as the plant has a snake skin appearance and such gives rise to the name rattlesnake orchid. Any snake bite victim is more likely saved by the fact poisonous snakes don't always inject venom, rather then eating a Goodyera afterwards. Grows with temperatures in the 30F to 90F (-1C to 30C) range generally.
Goodyera hispida Goodyera hispida is subtropical to tropical. Found in the Eastern Himalayas to Vietnam in lowland broadleaf evergreen forests at elevations of 1000 to 6,500 ft (300 to 2200 m) in shade, creeping, with bloom spikes up to 5 in (14 cm) tall, the plant up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall. Always iridescent. Tiny white flowers that can appear on any sized plant in winter. Terrestrial and lithophytic. Known for growing on wet embankments with grasses, sphagnum and bladderworts. Turns brown to redish brown when light is over 1000 fc, tends towards metallic blue green when mature in lower light. G. hispida seems to integrate with G. pusilla in the southern edges of its range. G. hispida is similar if not identical to G. reticulata which is regarded as endemic to Java, both are the same size and color. A good plant for the experienced grower.
Anoectochilus formosanus Goodyera pubescens is known as the Downy rattlesnake plantain orchid because of its rattlesnake pattern on a green background, only the scape is "downy". An eastern north America plant, it is a very nice plant for the temperate terrestrial orchid garden, as it has large flowers for a Goodyera. A summer to fall bloomer where summer is the wet season, but it does go a bit dormant when blooming so reduce the watering. Has been used in crosses, the better choice then other Goodyeras for crosses because it has a wide range suggesting a more forgiving plant and thus hybrids.
Goodyera pusilla Goodyera pusilla is found in Sumatra and Java, grows at about 9000 ft (1000 m) in elevation. Very much like G. hispida but can take warmer temperatures. It is smaller by a third than G. hispida, pusilla means "very small" but it makes up for that in personality. With a purplish green leaf, a white midrib that takes up 25%+ of the leaf and white to pink veins. Said to have yellowish flowers showing up in summer and that seems to be the main difference between the species. A choice and rare plant.
Goodyera schlechtendaliana Goodyera schlechtendaliana, once called G. secundiflora. Subtropical to tropical. In Japan it grows in areas that can have winter lows below 20F (-10C). Found in Eastern Himalayas to Taiwan and south into Java in closed, humid, broad-leafed, primary forests to cloud forests at elevations of 3000 to 7,500 ft (1000 to 2500 m) as a small terrestrial in damp crevasses with rich humus, a lithophyte on mossy limestone rocks and occasionally an epiphyte, up to 5 to 8 in (12 to 19 cm) tall. This Goodyera is not iridescent, like the north American natives. Regarded as a summer to fall bloomer. It is being explored as a herbal sedative and anticonvulsant. This specie is much like G. rotubunensis, G.daibuzanensis and a number of other South East Asian species, none easy to spell, all very nice plants.