l. d Section Austrocymbidium

This section was established by the great botanist Schlechter in 1924, then including the Australian species. In 1984 the range of the section was extended to include two Malaysian species, plus the recently described Cym elongatum, from Borneo.

Basic flower colour is yellow to greenish.

The species of this section can be divided into two groups on the basis of their vegetative habit - Cym canaliculatum, hartinahianum, chloranthum and madidum have large ovoid pseudobulbs flattened on the sides which are produced annually while Cym suave and elongatum lack pseudobulbs and have instead a slender stem which grows inderterminately, giving the species almost a monopodial habit.

l. d. I Cym canaliculatum R. Br.

Cym hillii
Cym sparkesii
Cym canaliculatum var. sparkesii
Cym canaliculatum var. canaliculatum f. aureolum
Cym canaliculatum var. marginatum
Cym canaliculatum var. marginatum f. fuscum
Cym canaliculatum var. marginatum f. purpurescens
Cym canaliculatum var. barrettii

First described in 1810 by Robert Brown this medium sized epiphyte has large pseudobulbs up to 120 x 35 mm. It is known to form large clumps. 3 to 4 leaves are produced from each pseudobulb, 150 to 460 mm long, coriaceous and stiff. The scape is 250 to 550 mm long, somewhat erect to horizontal, arching, often producing more than one per pseudobulb, each producing 20 to 60 flowers, which are closely spaced. The flowers are 18 to 40 mm across, very variable in colour, not scented, the sepals and petals are greenish or brown to almost black on the outside, dull to golden-yellow or green within, usually spotted and blotched or uniformly coloured with red-brown to deep magenta, usually with a narrow greenish margin, or occasionally uniformly deep reddish-black. The lip is white or cream sometimes tinged with green or pink, lightly spotted red or purple. The considerable variation in flower colour has caused some authors to separate the more distinctive extremes into separate varieties or species. This aspect is fully discussed by Du Puy and Cribb.

It is an Australian native, found from northern Western Australia to Cape York in Queensland, and south to central New South Wales. It grows from sea level to 1000 metres above sea level. It is an epiphyte growing on Eucalyptus and Malaleuca trees, in rotting wood in hollow trees or in hollows formed by fallen branches, often in very dry areas, usually in partial shade. It flowers in early spring to summer. It is regarded to have a considerable ability to withstand drought conditions, this characteristic partly due to its thick leathery leaves that show resistance to desiccation, and the shape of those leaves, which are erect, hooded at the apex, and strongly V-shaped in cross section. This shape channels any available water to the base of the plant. The plant has an ability to respire at night when the loss of water is minimised, compared to when this occurs during the hot dry daytime hours. The rotting wood in which this species often grows naturally assists in providing moisture, facilitated by the extensive root system which is characteristically developed - individual root systems up to 12 metres in length can be developed. It is noted to prefer some shade, but usually occurs in open woodland and will withstand exposure to strong direct sunlight. When conditions are dry, it can tolerate summer temperatures in excess of 35 degrees Celsius and freezing winter nights.

Dockrill notes that when space in the hollow in the tree will permit, the species can grow into a huge specimen weighing "many hundreds of pounds. " He confirms this very widespread species is native of inland Australia, but encountered almost anywhere except the mistiest coastal and highland areas.

I d II Cym hartinahianum Comber and Nasution

This species is related to Cym chloranthum. This species was first described in 1977. It is thought to have a very restricted distribution, being collected several times from a single locality in northern Sumatra, at about 2000 metres above sea level. Its natural habitat is broken forest and rough damp grassland. This species grows in the grassland as a terrestrial, growing in damp conditions amongst small ferns and mosses in good light. The poor soil ensures little competition from other plants.

It is a medium sized plant with conspicuous pseudobulbs up to 70 x 35 mm. 7 to 10 leaves are produced, 130 to 300 mm long, somewhat coriaceous, V-shaped in cross section. The scape is 500 to 800 mm long, erect, bearing 14 to 21 flowers, The flowers are about 35 mm in diameter, not scented, the petals and sepals olive-green to purple-brown, with some brownish staining towards the base. The lip is white, the side lobes barred with red, the mid lobe sparsely blotched red.

It is native of Sumatra, growing from 1700 to 2700 metres altitude. It is late winter to summer flowering.

l. d. III Cym chloranthum Lindley

Cym variciferum
Cym sanguincolentum
Cym sanguineum
Cym pulchellum

This is considered to be an attractive and unusual species, first collected on Mount Kinabalu in 1915. Du Puy and Lamb note it has a rather local distribution. They note that it grows and flowers under partial shade in the lowlands of Sabah, but prefers a climate with cooler night temperatures.

Its many flowered inflorescences are erect whereas many other species in this grouping are arching or pendulous. There is also a strong colour change in the flower induced by pollination, removal of the anther, or even by mechanical disturbance of the stigma tic surface, the flower becoming suffused with a strong carmine pink. While this colour change is known with other species, in no other case is it so marked as with this species.

This is a medium sized epiphytic species, producing large pseudobulbs which can grow up to 110 x 40 mm. 5 to 7 leaves per bulb are produced, which grow some 400 to 600 mm long. They are somewhat coriaceous (leathery) but thinner and more flexible than those of the species in the section Cymbidium. The scape is 360 to 470 mm long, erect, usually with 20 to 25 closely spaced non scented The sepals and petals are pale yellow to yellow-green, with some red speckling at the base of the petals. The lip is pale yellow-green, the side lobes mottled and barred with red, especially towards the margin. The mid lobe is sparsely spotted with red and with a broad white margin.

Native of West Malaysia, Sumatra Java and Borneo, it grows on trees in evergreen tropical forest, in areas with moist shade. It flowers sporadically throughout the year. It occurs at altitudes of 500 to 1000 metres above sea level, and is said to flower well when grown at sea level. Some early reports noted this species came from Nepal, but those reports are now considered to be in error.

l. d. IV Cym madidum Lindley

Cym iridifolium
Cym, albuciflorum
Cym leai
Cym queeneanum
Cym leroyi
Cym, madidum var. leroyi

This is one of three endemic Australian species of Cymbidium, being described by the great botanist Lindley in 1840 cultivated by English growers Messrs Rollinsons, and which was mistakenly said to have originated in the East Indies.

This is a medium to large epiphyte, producing very large and conspicuous pseudobulbs (which often grow larger in the wild than under cultivation and which are perhaps the largest of the genus; reaching 10O to 200 x 60 mm. The 6 to 8 leaves on each pseudobulb are 500 to 800 mm long, erect, flexible, channeled at their base.

The flower scape is usually 400 to 800 mm long, pendulous, bearing 22 to 60 flowers. Each flower is 26 to 28 mm across, and in some cases do not open fully. They are sweetly scented. The tepals are straw yellow with pale brown staining, especially on the backs of the sepals, producing an olive-green effect inside, to clear yellow or yellow-green. The lip is primrose-yellow with a broad deep yellow to red-brown stripe from the base of the lip into the base of the mid lobe, bordered with brownish-red and with two deep red-brown blotches at the base of the mid lobe.

An Australian native, it grows from sea level up to 1300 metres altitude. It prefers a more humid habits than the other Australian species,. It prefers the coastal plains and eastern slopes of the coastal ranges that have a high rainfall, It is an epiphyte often growing in the bases of stag horn or elk horn ferns. It also grows commonly on rotting trees or in the hollows in branches or trunks of trees, usually in conjunction with rotting wood, and may eventually form large clumps. It usually occurs in positions where it has full sun for at least part of the day, but is said to tolerate even quite heavy shade.

It usually flowers from late winter to spring in the warmer tropical regions, and until early summer in cooler zones in its natural habitats.

l. d. V Cym suave R. Brown

Cym gomphocarpum

First described in 1840 by Robert Brown, it has an unusual growth habit, very distinct from the other species of the submenus Cymbidium except for the newly described Cym elongatum. This is reported to have the most restricted natural habitat range of all the Australian cymbidium species, almost invariably growing from hollows in limbs or trunks of trees. Instead of producing a new pseudobulb annually, the same stem continues to grow and flower indeterminately for many years, eventually reaching 500 mm or more in length.

This is a medium sized epiphyte, the pseudobulbs apparent only in young plants, developing in older specimens into an elongated stem. Each shoot grows and flowers for many years before a new growth is produced near the base, the shoot extending only a few centimeters in length each year. Leaves, usually 6 or 7, are carried apically on the shoot, up to 300 to 600 mm long, rather thin and grass like in texture, arching. The scape is usually 150 to 240 mm long, arched or pendulous produced in the axis of the leaf bases just below the current leaves, often more than one per stem, and often persistent on the stem for several years. 20 to 40 very loosely spaced flowers are usually produced, strongly sweet scented. The flowers are 150 to 05 mm across, the tepals light green, sometimes yellow-green or olive-green, occasionally with pale reddish blotches. The lip is bright yellow to greenish, the side lobes stained orange-brown or barely green, the disc dark red-brown in front, often paler behind. The shape of the lip can be very variable.

It is native of Eastern Australia, found from sea level up to 1200 metres above sea level. The species grown in damp, open woodland, usually near the coast, often on Eucalyptus trees, where it grows in hollows and rotting wood left by fallen branches,

It usually flowers in late winter to spring in the tropics, and until early summer in cooler regions. It requires an open position where it receives a lot of sunlight for optimum flowering.

l. d. VI Cym elongatum J. J. Wood

This is one of the most unusual species of the genus, having a monopodial habit with an indeterminately growing stem that tend to lean onto and scrabble over the surrounding vegetation as they elongate.

This is a medium sized plant which grows as a terrestrial or epiphyte, producing an elongated stem 300 to 1300 mm or more long, growing and flowering indeterminately, erect when young, becoming supported by surrounding vegetation as it ages. The leaves, usually 4 to 9, are up to 100 to 190 mm long, coriaceous. The scape is 90 to 280 mm long, somewhat erect, produced from the upper leaf axils, somewhat erect, bearing 1 to 5 distant flowers. Flowers are 40 mm across, slightly scented, the tepals purplish red outside, olive-green to cream and sometimes stained with red-brown inside, the lip is pale yellow-green or green to cream, sometimes suffused with pink, usually spotted and blotched with red.

Native of Sabah, and Sarawak, growing at an altitude of 1200 to 1750 metres above sea level. It is a terrestrial in marshy areas in open scrubby woodland of stunted trees, often rooted at the bases of Leptospermum or amongst rattans sedges, Ericaceae and Begonia. In Sarawak it is occasionally epiphytic. It flowers during early spring to spring, but also in early autumn to early winter.

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