Cutflower Nomenclature

Scientific/Botanical Name:

Genus: Cymbidium

Specie: (over 60 species)


English Name:


Common Name:

boat orchid, cym

Botanical Family:

Name in Latin: Orchidaceae

Name in English: The Orchid Family

The Plant

Origin: Asia (such as northern India, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Borneo) and northern Australia

Growth Habit: 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.

Flower: 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 there may be markings of other color shades at the same time), but not blue and black. They have a waxy texture. The rounded sepals and petals have about the same dimensions. They show very diverse color patterns, different for every specie

Blooming Period: The flowers last about ten weeks

Leaf: linear, entire, straplike


one of the most popular and desirable orchids in the world because of the beautiful flowers. Plants make great houseplants, and are also popular in floral arrangements and corsages

Care and Handling

Soil: Use a medium shredded fir bark or small to medium lava rock. Another recipe would be 1 part organic soil, 1 part sphagnum moss, 2 parts osmunda (fern root) with a little bone meal and rinsed aquarium charcoal chips. Always use a pot with a hole.

Amount of water: Keep the potting mix evenly moist at all times. Use warm water

Nutrition: Feed every two weeks during the growing season with a fertilizer specifically designed for orchids.

Special handling: Direct sunlight and cold drafts should be avoided. Place pebbles or gravel in the drainage dish to hold water and increase the humidity, make sure the pot is sitting on the gravel and not in the water.

Special feature/remarks:

The name is derived from the Greek word kumbos, meaning 'hole, cavity'. It refers to the form of the base of the lip. 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].