Cymbidium erythreaum – 365 days of orchids – day 1792
Today’s orchid is a close relative of Sunday’s Cymbidium tracyanum.
Cymbidium erythraeum is a lovely orchid when not in flower due to its long thin dark green leaves. The flower spikes emerge in the autumn and the long lasting flowers are a treat throughout the winter. The spikes are generally arching or pendulous and we have two distinct clones. The plant above is our larger clone with flower spikes over a metre long with up to 20 flowers. Our smaller growing, and early flowering, clone (below) has much shorter and more pendulous spikes.
We have seen Cymbidium erythraeum growing abundantly at around 2000m altitude in Sikkim where is seems to prefer growing on the top of large branches amongst moss. To replicate these conditions we grow this species with other cymbidiums in a winter minimum of 10C and vents that open at 14C so it grows really cool. We keep it very wet in summer with plant food in most waterings. In the winter we keep it damp and never let it completely dry out. The evergreen forests where we have seen the species have large amounts of moss and abundant epiphytes indicating a very wet climate.