Cymbidium tracyanum – 365 days of orchids – day 1067
Another Cymbidium today and this one is a much larger plant than yesterday’s Cymbidium cochleare.
Cymbidium tracyanum is a large flowered and fragrant cymbidium which every autumn sends up spikes up to 90cm long with around fifteen flowers on a spike. The species is native to Southern China, Thailand and Myanmar where it grows in wet forests from 1200-1900m as both an epiphyte on mossy trunks and branches or on mossy rocks.
To replicate the plants natural habitat we grow plants in our temperate section (minimun 6C) and keep plants very well watered when in active growth (spring and summer) and damp at other times. Plants would be very happy growing outside from mid May through to September but remember to keep them wet to replicate their monsoon home.
As the first of the large flowered Cymbidiums to flower every autumn and it is often still in flower at Christmas, so do come and enjoy the species on December 14th. It forms great specimen plants with multiple spikes. We find the best time to divide plants that need it (particularly if they are crowded with old pseudobulbs in the centre of the plant) is in early spring just after flowering.
The scent is very fresh and we think it is mostly citrus. We have however known hybrids of Cym. tracyanum that are more reminiscent of cat urine! – better to stick to the species.
This is the first species we grew from seed back in the early 1990s and it is still a joy to see our own seedlings flowering in the greenhouse.