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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know of a jewel orchid miniature? I am looking for something that will be a good ground cover that stays under 6" or so. I would lke a slow grower as well so it doesn't take over the tank.
 

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I dont think in the long run, any will stay that small, however, most are very slow growing and if they get too call, you can just cut the top off, and replant it in your viv and have more of them :)

If you do want slower growing though, the darker in color the leaves the slower growing in general (the darker the leaves, the less photosynthesis that generally takes place, and the less photosynthesis, the less it is able to grow). I know Joshs just posted some more for sale, otherwise if you look on eBay there is always a seller with a pretty good selection, just generally smaller plants that have been tissue cultured.
 

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Bonnie @ Verdant Vivariums (also on the forum here) has Ludisia Discolor Alba as well as the standard form if you like the look/height of those.
 

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I'll send you a good one... They are all tiny (but healthy), so don't be too surprised by the size. Of course there are only two left, and you just took one, so... act fast! *grin*

I don't know about most purple leaved plants, some grow like weeds (purple wandering jew seems to grow faster than straight green). I suppose in general it might be true that purple leaf is slower than not. In Ludisia discolor, the 'normal' or nominal form is a rampant weed. The alba form is much slower growing in my hands, and smaller. Probably should add some of those to joshsfrogs.com too, I guess.

Rob
 

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Goodyera oblongifolia is a low growing rosette jewel orchid.
G. pubescens is the eastern equivalent. Cyclopogon is a short growing rosette orchid, but the spike gets rather tall. Sarcoglottis has a similar growth habit
 

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If you do want slower growing though, the darker in color the leaves the slower growing in general (the darker the leaves, the less photosynthesis that generally takes place, and the less photosynthesis, the less it is able to grow). I know Joshs just posted some more for sale, otherwise if you look on eBay there is always a seller with a pretty good selection, just generally smaller plants that have been tissue cultured.
Time out: Why are we equating photosynthetic efficiency to growth rate? Doesn't this only make sense at the same light intensity? Place a Pothos in higher light, you will get less green and faster growth. Same with Croton or Cordyline or Cryptanthus or Neoregelia.

I thought the deal was that plants become redder in higher light precisely because these leaves do not need as much chlorophyll, and the redder leaf better tolerates brighter (hotter) sun. Incidentally, this may be the reason why some plants have discolor leaves, to survive sudden sun exposure (See R. Kiew Begonias of Peninsular Malaysia)

Of course, light is not the only factor that affects grwth rate.

2) Both Anoectochilus roxburgii and Macodes petola are shorter than Ludisia discolor.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I think the confusion stems from the color of the plant.....when you have a purple or red plant the cells still contain chloroplasts and chlorophyll. A plant may contain secondary pigments that absorb certain wavelengths of light better than green chloroplasts, but these secondary pigments are not photosynthetic. The secondary pigments facilitate photosynthesis but on their own they are unable to convert light, CO2, and water into the appropriate sugars for the organism to grow. This is not to say that because a plant is red it cannot perform photosynthesis, The red pigment is simply "drowning" out the green pigment of the chloroplast. The question of faster growth rate in relation to high intensity light and the correlation of more "color" is simply the fact that in a high light situation some plants may need less chloroplasts which equals less chlorophyll to perform the necessary photosynthetic process because more light energy is being absorbed per chloroplast. In turn they exhibit more color variation to shield themselves from the sun while still performing the necessary functions. So in an equal light setting a purely red plant vs. a purely green plant will grow at a slower rate because the plant is performing less photosynthetic reactions which in turn is equal to energy into the organism in the form of sugars. This is under the assumption that there is no other limiting factor like water or CO2 in either plant. Many other factors are involved. Through the evolution of different genera you may see adaptations that facilitate the growth of the plant including CO2 gas exchange and water retention properties. Look at succulents for instance, they are built the way they are so that when they receive water in their arid environments they can use it the best of their ability. Coloration is not the only limiting factor in the photosynthetic pathway but a very important one, just like the succulent will suffer in its growth from less than needed water, a similar plant may suffer even greater because of the lack of light energy received by having mostly secondary pigments and primary pigment like chlorophyll a. So more "color" does not equal more growth, chlorophyll a is still performing photosynthesis but at a much higher capacity.
 

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From my fabulous education in horticulture... Purple leaves contain more anthocyanin than chlorophyll.
Reread my post and I sounded like a (@) so I apologise for that... I didnt mean to sound confrontational. The joy of rapid typing and no time to proofread... I hadn't heard that before and was curious.
 
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