Cymbidium Swartz 1799, is a genus of 52 evergreen species in the orchid family Orchidaceae, subfamily Epidendroideae, tribe Cymbidieae, subtribe Cyrtopodiinae.


It was first described by 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.


This genus is distributed in tropical and subtropical Asia (such as North-India, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Borneo) and North-Australia, usually growing in cooler climates at high elevation.


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 there may be markings of other color shades at the same time), with the exception of blue and black. The flowers last about ten weeks. They have a waxy texture. The rounded sepals and petals have about the same dimensions. They show very diverse color patterns, different for every species.


Cymbidiums tend to grow more leaves than most orchids. Roughly eight long, green, narrow leaves originate from the sheath of each pseudobulb.


It is one of the most popular and desirable orchids in the world because of the beautiful flowers. These plants make great houseplants, and are also popular in floral arrangements and corsages. 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). Orchid hobbyists in temperate climates appreciate the fact that they can bloom in winter, when few other orchids are blooming.


Only a few Cymbidium species are commonly grown in nurseries, due to the popularity of hybrids. Most are to be found in botanical gardens or in their ever shrinking natural habitat. One of such hybrids was Named "Happy Barry Sailor Moon" after the popular Anime and manga. It is named so because its color is identical to the hair color of the title character.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia






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