(sim-bi' dee-um)

Common name: Corsage Orchid, Cymbidium

Family: Orchidaceae, Orchid

Height x width: 12-36" x 12-36"

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: 8-10 narrowly oval to linear leaves 12-36" long and 1" wide, arching, from spherical to elongated pseudobulbs; sympodial growth

Flowers: racemes arising from the base to 24" long with 2-4" flowers scattered near tips; many colors; 3 outer sepals and 3 inner petals with one forming a hood and lower lip; flowers last 1-2 months

Light: bright to moderate

Temperature: cool to average

Watering: well-watered

Fertility: low

Humidity: humid

Soil: epiphytic or terrestrial, depending on species

Pests and Problems: root rot, bacterial soft rot, botrytis gray mold, pseudobulb rots, mosaic viruses, spider mites, scales, mealybugs

Growth habit, uses: miniature cultivars for indoor rooms, large cultivars for greenhouses and large spaces, a popular cut flower for large arrangements

Other interest: native to India, Australia and Asia; contact with foliage may irritate skin; from the Greek kymbe meaning boat, refering to the hollow recess in the flower lip

Other culture: may be moved outdoors in shade for summer; not for under lights indoors; often easy to grow but difficult to flower indoors; mainly for outdoors in south or commercial cut flower production

Propagation: division when potbound


Of the 50 or so species, the following are often seen or recommended.
Species habit foliage flowers, width
aloifolium epiphytic linear, 12-24" pale yellow, red stripes, 2"
bicolor epiphytic linear, 12" creamy, purple spotted lips, 2"
devonianum epiphytic oval, 12-24" olive brown, purple lips, 2"
eburneum epiphytic linear, 18-24" white, edged pink, yellowish lips, 3"
ensifolium terrestrial linear, 12-24" greenish, white lips spotted red, 1"
hookerianum epiphytic linear, 24" green, white lips spotted yellow, 3-5"
lowianum epiphytic linear, 24-30" greenish, red banded lips, 3-5"
tigrinum lithophytic oval, 9", narrow yellowish, purple spots and lines, 2"
tracyanum epiphytic linear, 24-30" yellowish, purple spots and stripes, 4"

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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