Species of the Month – January 2016
Cymbidium lancifolium Hook.
This is one of the beautiful species of Cymbidium, also known as Lance leafed Cymbidium. Genus Cymbidium has 52 species. This species is an intriguing one and somewhat rare in cultivation and at times challenging to cultivate. But definitely attracts because of its small plant stature but beautiful inflorescence. This is one of those Cymbidium species with has broad leaves.
Distribution: This species is found naturally in India in Himalayas, Assam, Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Taiwan, Japan and many of the SE Asian countries such as Borneo, Java, Sumatra and also Thailand, Malaysia and New Guinea. They grow at altitudes of 300 to 2300 M. In a natural condition, they grow in broad leaf forests where the soil is rich in humus and also plenty of leaf litter.
Plant: It is a medium size compact plant growing in cool to intermediate areas. Many times they grow on rocky outcrops and cliffs of limestone. Can be grown as a terrestrial one with lots of humus. The pseudobulbs are fusiform of about 4 inches and fleshy with 3 -5 leaves and are thin, bluish green in color, acute and petiolate leaves. Inflorescence comprises of a long scape and is produced from the basal area carrying beautiful, delicate looking flowers numbering 8-10. The flowers are of 2.5-5 cm in size and are fragrant and are produced in spring and summer.
Culture: The plant is generally grown in cool to intermediate temperature conditions but with bright light. Under cultivation the plants are grown in media with CHC, perlite and bark. adding lava rock to the media will be beneficial. Water and fertilize when the plant is in growing period and sparingly water during winter. In Bangalore conditions, it flowers once in June and again in December.
Few primary hybrids have been produced with C. lancifolium as a parent.
C. lancifolium x C. ensifolium = Patrice Fox
C. lancifolium x C. goeringii = Hybrid A
C. maddidum x C. lancifolium = Elsie Blackmore
1. Cymbidium Species Stephen Early, www.cymspecies.com/lancifolium
Article and Photos by: Dr. K. S. Shashidhar