Habitat: Grassy slopes in foothills, C. and S. Japan. In sandy soils
Description: Bletilla striata is of special interest in having an embryo with a rudimentary, vascularized cotyledon--it is one of only ten species (among more than 22,000 orchid species) that does! Moreover, most orchids totally lack endosperm next to the embryo, but in Bletilla some endospermal cells persist within the seed. Bletilla striata also has an interesting capsule that splits open along six lines of weakness.
Uses: Used in traditional Chinese medicine as a haemeostatic agent to control hemorrhage. Also widely used intra- arterially for treatment of cancer in the liver, kidney, and uterus.
Culture: Keep in cool to warm temperatures with bright light. Water regularly. They have a great reputation of being the absolute easiest orchid for a beginner to grow. Unlike most tropical epiphytic orchids, this plant comes from somewhat temperate zones and grows in soil rather than on trees and require no extraordinary care to grow successfully. They prefer well drained evenly moist soils that are high in organic material and that never dry out nor remain sodden. They are sympodial growers and will form handsome clumps in only a few years.6