The Cymbidium is an orchid for the living room or on the terrace in the summer months. It is a fairly tall plant with long, narrow leaves and one or more long flower spikes with six or more flowers.
The flowers of the cultivated Cymbidium (hybrids) can be red, purple, pink, white, orange, yellow, green, or bicolor. There is even a Cymbidium hybrid with blue flowers for sale. The Cymbidium orchid originates from the temperate climate of the Himalayas and the subtropical climate of northern Australia.
The Cymbidium or boat orchid belongs to the Orchidaceae (orchid family). Worldwide, the orchid family has more than a thousand genera, which are divided into dozens of subfamilies, such as:
- Phalaenopsis of vlinderorchidee;
- Dendrobium or bamboo orchid;
- Oncidium or tiger orchid;
- Paphiopedilum of venusschoentje;
The Subfamily Cymbidium
One of the orchid subfamilies is the Cymbidium or boat orchid. The Cymbidium subfamily has about sixty botanical (native) species, sixteen natural hybrids (spontaneous pollination), and as many as 1,000 different hybrids (pollinated manually by breeders).
The name ‘Cymbidium’ may be due to the lip in the heart of the flower. The lip resembles a hollow boat, which is a ‘symbol’ in Greek and the name is probably derived from that.
The ancestors of the Cymbidium come from the so-called ‘Asian Cymbidium belt’. The Asian Cymbidium Belt is found around the southern foothills of the Himalayas and runs from the mountains of India to China, Korea, Japan, and into the warmer south.
The plants grow in the wild at an altitude of 330 meters to 2800 meters. Most plants grow with their roots in the soil (terrestrial plants), but there are also Cymbidiums that grow with their roots on trees and rock walls: the epiphytes.
Epyfits grow on trees, among other things, without extracting food from them. The first plants in the Netherlands were introduced around 1980 and were crossed by growers (the hybrid Cymbidiums).
From Ancestor Cymbidium To Hybrid Cymbidium
The original wild Cymbidiums (the botanical species) have a brownish, yellowish, or greenish color in bloom and consist of about 60 botanical species that grow from high in the mountains to the tropical savannah. Since 1985, different varieties have been bred together in the Netherlands (hybrid varieties) and there is plenty of choice in terms of color, size, and number of flowers.
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The flowers come in red, black, white, orange, apricot, yellow, and blue (Cymbidium Dyed Blue) or are bi-colored. A number of flowers on one branch, several flowering branches, and the most exotic lip give a living room an exotic look.
The Cymbidium Hybrid Can Be Divided Into Three Groups
The Cymbidium species that originate from the Asian Cymbidium belt (the Asian Cymbidiums or Chinese Cymbidiums) need a cool period to form flowers and are called cool orchids. In the wild, Cymbidium grows from the tropical rainforest to the temperate climate in the Himalayas, where places with winter frost also occur. The Cymbidium, which originates from temperate climates, needs a cool period to flower.
Because the original Cymbidium had a natural difference in day and night temperatures, the hybrid Cymbidium forms new shoots in a cooler rest period from which the flower branch (or branches) grows. When the first flowers on a flower branch open, the plant can be placed in the living room or conservatory.
The other two groups from the warmer parts of subtropical Asia and Australia do not need a particularly cool period to form flowers. Most hybrids that are cultivated today originate from the originally cool orchids.
The Offer Of The Hybrid Cymbidium
The Cymbidium species in the world are always hybrid species and the range of the hybrid Cymbidium consists of:
- the mini Cymbidium. This one can tolerate room temperature best;
- the large-flowered Cymbidium. This Cymbidium is mainly used as a cut flower;
- the cascade Cymbidium. This one has long-hanging flower stems. The flower stems with flowers can be guided around an arch and thus gives a waterfall (cascade) of flowers. The original ancestors grow in rock walls and dead trees, it was not necessary for the plant to protrude above the leaves with the flower stems, resulting in the long hanging flowers. This Cymbidium also always has a visible thickened and flat ‘bulb’ or flat tuber between the leaves.
Leaf And Roots Hybrid Cymbidium
You can recognize the cultivated Cymbidium by the long, narrow, green leaves and the wealth of flowers on one stem. The Cymbidium has a creeping rhizome and the formation of shoots is essential for regular flowering.
A flat, green ‘bulb’ grows from the shoot of the cool Cymbidium and axillary buds grow next to the bulb, between the leaves, to develop into a flowering branch with numerous buds.
The hybrid Cymbidium from the regions of tropical to subtropical Asia and Australia has no bulb, the flower spikes grow from the shoots.
The hybrid species of Cymbidium orchids produce on average more than 15 (sometimes as many as 30) beautiful flowers on a stem, some of which are fragrant. The Cymbidium orchids bloom for ten weeks and can flower from November to April.
The flowers have a waxy texture and have three sepals and three petals where the middle petal is formed into the prominent lip which is often different in color. In the wild, the lip serves to lure pollen seekers. The pollen seekers fertilize another Cymbidium with the pollen of one native Cymbidium.
Bought Or Received A Cymbidium
Place the Cymbidium in a place with plenty of light but no direct sunlight. When the danger of night frost has passed, the Cymbidium can also go outside in a shady spot on the terrace.
Water a blooming orchid about every seven to nine days. You can also immerse the orchid in water for ten minutes once a week and let it drain well. Feed once a month during the flowering period. After a few years, the plant can be torn and the best period for this is early spring.
You can cut off the spent branch of the Cymbidium to the bottom. Place the Cymbidium in a cool but bright place for about 10 to 12 weeks. Give a resting Cymbidium less water and no food until the new shoots start to grow. The new shoots will give new flower stems after about 8 to 12 weeks and as soon as the first bud starts to bloom, the Cymbidium can be moved to a warmer place.