Cymbidiums have always been popular cut flowers, either as single blooms for corsages or made up for wedding bouquets. They are also grown in great numbers for the pot plant trade.
There are few genera related to Cymbidium with which it will breed, so the number of intergeneric hybrids is insignificant.
This is perhaps one of the prettiest of all the Cymbidium species, with an unusual flower shape differing from the normally open style of the Cymbidium flower. C. erythrostylum has its two upper petals drawn forward over the lip, giving the whole flower an attractive, triangular appearance The cr
isp white petals and sepals and the bold yellow-and-red striped lip are responsible for many white hybrids. This species is relatively small and is thus ideal for the amateur enthusiast with a cool greenhouse. The graceful spray of up to eight flowers will last for many weeks during the winter.
This is a stunning species, known for its long, arching spray of large green flowers. This strong colouring, together with the striking deep red bar across the width of the lip, has been used extensively in breeding lines of the modern Cymbidium hybrids.
The species comes from Thailand and Burma and can be found growing at high altitudes in the trees. It is still a sought after species and is grown easily alongside the modern hybrids in a cool greenhouse. The long-lasting flowers will continue for many weeks through the spring.
Striped petals in coffee and green, with a contrasting spotted cream lip, make this another very popular species for use in breeding. The large flowers are held on a tall, arching spray in autumn, arising from a plant reaching over 1 m (3 ft) in height at maturity.
Space is needed to accommodate this Thai orchid, but it is well worth it just for the unusual fragrance. It is an easy orchid to cultivate, enjoying similar conditions to the cool-growing Cymbidium hybrids, especially when placed outdoors in summer.
Cymbidium Cotil Point
There are many standard Cymbidium varieties, as well as the miniatures, and these can reach 1.5 m (5 ft) in height when in full flower during late winter and spring, giving a spectacular show with their blooms measuring up to 12 cm (5 in) across.
This subtle rosy-pink hybrid is typical of modern breeding and the most popular types grown today. No difference in culture is required for these plants, although a little more space is needed to accommodate their larger pseudobulbs and long leaves.
Cymbidium Kiwi Sunrise
Some of the most popular of the miniature cymbidiums are the summer-flowering varieties. Kiwi Sunrise bred in New Zealand, is also known for its light fragrance Evenly spaced flowers on an upright spike make the plant excellent for use in displays.
Cymbidium Summer Pearl
Summer Pearl is a beautiful pastel cream variety typical of the popular and easy-to-grow miniature or compact types available today. These plants can still reach 60 cm (2 ft), with flowers around 5 cm (2 in) across. It flowers in late summer to autumn and lasts six to eight weeks in bloom, making it an ideal gift. The plant will grow well and reflower the following year if kept in a cool and light position.