Logan and District Orchid Society  -  Cymbidium Orchids

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Page updated 19/7/2014


Thelymitra ixioides

Spotted Sun Orchid

Cymbidium canaliculatum

Small Groove-leafed Cymbidium

also known as the Banana Orchid or the Queensland Black Orchid

Photo credit:Wiki commons.org


Cymbidium /sim’bid’iəm/,or boat orchids, is a genus of 52 evergreen species in the orchid family Orchidaceae. One of its first descriptions come from Olof Swartz in 1799. The name is derived from the Greek word kumbos, meaning 'hole, cavity'. It refers to the form of the base of the lip. The genus is abbreviated Cym.  in horticultural trade.

This genus is distributed in tropical and subtropical Asia (such as northern India, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Borneo) and northern Australia. The larger flowered species from which the large flowered hybrids are derived grow at high altitudes, which is why it can be a little tricky to successfully flower Cymbidiums in the lower altitude areas of South East Queensland. Some hybrids that flower consistently at lower altitudes have been developed.


Cymbidium plants are sympodial and grow to a height of 60 cm and the racemes as high as 90 cm. The raceme grows from the base of the most recent pseudobulb. Each flower can have a diameter of 5 to 10 cm, according to the species. They bloom during the winter, and each plant can have up to fifteen or more flowers. The fantastic range of colors for this genus include white, green, yellowish-green, cream, yellow, brown, pink, and red [and orange] and black (and there may be markings

Cymbidium Clarisse Austin 'Best Pink'

Photo credit:Wiki commons.org

of other color shades at the same time), but not blue. The flowers last about ten weeks. They have a waxy texture. The rounded sepals and petals have about the same dimensions.

There are fragrant varieties as well, notably the Chinese cymbidiums. They have been cultivated for thousands of years, especially in China. Cymbidiums became popular in Europe during the Victorian era. One feature that makes the plant so popular is the fact that it can survive during cold temperatures (as low as 7˚ C or 45˚ F) [Actually they will survive at temperatures below 32˚F for short periods and even as low as 28˚F which is why they are popular in the southern states of Australia]. The full Wiki article here

Culture Sheets

American Orchid Society Culture Sheet

& some mre basic information for the novice grower

American Orchid Society Novice Culture Sheet

Useful links on growing Cymbidium Orchids

Cymbidium Orchid Care Nurseriesonline.com.au

 Cymbidiums   AOS

Cymbidium growing for Beginners AOS

Cymbidiums - Cool Climate Beauties AOS

Cymbidiums - From Backbulbs AOS

Pests & Deseases

Detecting Viruses in Orchids  AOS

Orchid Viruses  AOS

Orchid Fleck Virus (OFV)  Wikipedia

Cymbidium mosaic virus (CymMV)  Wikipedia

Photo Galleries

Cymbidium Cultivars (Wikicommons.org)

Taxon Galleries (Wikicommons.org Cy…)