The crucifix Orchid is popular among the houses in our area. It must have been fashionable at some time in past, or possibly have spread itself from a single stating point. It’s a hardy plant that has taken over large areas of the garden without any special care. It grows as dense stands to about 1.5m high. Individual plants consist of a thin bamboo like central stem with thick oval shaped leaves sprouting directly off it in an alternating pattern.
I just read that the leaves of the purple variety are edible and taste like watermelon. Well, I just tried a leaf from one of the orange ones and they taste like watermelon too! More like artificial watermelon flavour, kind of like watermelon flavoured Nerds.
The flowers are the most striking part of the plant, the varieties in our garden bloom in clusters of vivid red or orange flowers. Each individual flower has a cross shape, hence the name.
As well as seeding, the plant spreads by growing small daughter plants complete with roots from off it’s central stem. The daughter then breaks off, takes root and grows into a new plant.
I’ve removed a lot of crucifix orchid from the garden already, I’d like to get rid of most of it, thankfully the roots are shallow making it easy to pull out.