January is a great month in the School Greenhouse for Cymbidium species (see Cymbidium erythraeum – day 369) with great diversity in colour and form. Cymbidium iridiodes is remarkable for its large flowers with rich red stripes and spots.
This is one of our Himalayan species and one we believe we have seen in Sikkim although not in flower. Its habitat is wet evergreen monsoon forests from 1000m to 2800m altitude and we find it responds very well to being grown cool and wet in our Temperate section (minimum 6C)
The flower stems are rather thin and resulting in a semi-pendulous spike habit which is great as it keeps the flowers well clear of the leaves but does require us to spot the spikes as they emerge and raise plants (we balance them on crates) to show them off to their best.