The last of our spring flowering Cymbidiums is now in full flower. I remember as a child of 13 seeing Cymbidium lowianum, my first Cymbidium species, at Keith Andrew Orchids in Dorset where I worked weekends, and being enthralled by the grace of the long arching spikes. I am still enthralled 🙂
Cymbidium lowianum is native to Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and China where it grows as an epiphyte in cool montane forest. Cymbidium lowianum grows into a very large plant and has lovely large pseudobulbs, long thick leaves and very long arching flower spikes that naturally grow out to the side of the plant. We are keen to show off the natural grace of these flower spikes and so do not stake them – though that does have issues for space.
Lowianum has been used extensively in Cymbidium breeding and the red V on the lip is a dominant feature that can be seen in many hybrids. One thing that can be frustrating with hybrids is the confusion about flower spike direction and a modern hybrid can easily contain Cymbidium insigne – spike straight up – Cymbidium devonianum – spike straight down – and Cymbidium lowianum – spike sticking out in an arch. I think we will stick with the species which all have an elegance that is hard to beat.
We grow Cymbidium lowianum with our other Cymbidiums in our Cool Asia section (minimum 10C)