Cymbidium lowianum (Rchb.f.) Rchb.f.

Low's Cymbidium

Family: Orchidaceae

Genus: Cymbidium

Category: Houseplant


3' inflorescence, many flowers, some fragrant, long lasting, at the end of the inflorescence.

From Orchid Album Terrestrial. Pseudobulbs oblong, somewhat compressed, clothed with the sheathing bases of the leaves, which are ligulate acute, some two or three feet in length, keeled on the under side, and deep green. Spike long and drooping from the weight of the large raceme of flowers which it bears, individual flowers about four inches across. Sepals and petals of a soft yellowish green, having several sepia-brown lines running through their entire length, the sepals a little larger than the petals, keeled behind; lip three-lobed, the side lobes erect, standing up to, but not enclosing the column, greenish yellow, the front lobe somewhat deltoid, slightly undulated on the edge, deep purplish maroon, with a white marginal border, base of the lip white, the raised fleshy plates on the disc being stained with purple, and the face of the column also spotted with reddish purple.

Subordinate taxa: 


Published in Gard. Chron. n.s. 11: 332 in 1879.

Basionym Cymbidium giganteum var. lowinaum Rchb.f.

Also pictured in Orchid Album 10: 471 in 1893. It was introduced from Burmah by the late Mr. Stuart Low, of the Clapton Nurseries, through his collector Boxall some sixteen years ago. Two years afterwards it flowered for the first time in Europe with Mr. Low, and was shown before the Royal Horticultural Society on March 11th, 1879, receiving a First Class Certificate, which it assuredly deserved. It was after this that Reichenbach raised it to specific rank, but upon its first introduction, he having to describe it from dried unsatisfactory materials, he had called it Cymbidium giganteum Lowianum ; he had, however, the opportunity afterwards of examining living examples, and thus he saw the distinctions which could not be perceived in the dried flowers.

Native to Burma, Thailand, China and Vietnam.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner