2. d     SECTION CYPERORCHIS

This section is characterised by its basal scape with pendulous flowers, which do not open widely, its straight narrow lip amongst other characteristics. The section   is closely allied to the section Eburnea.

2. d. l    Cym elegans Lindley

Synonyms

Cym longifolium
Cyperorchis elegans
Cym densiflorum
Grammatophyllum elegans
Cym elegans
var. obcordatum
Cym elegans
var. luteacens
Arethusantha bletiodes
Cyperorchis elegans
var. blumei

This one of the most striking and is said to be one of the most commonly cultivated cymbidium species in Europe. Its large, densely crowded racemes of narrowly funnel flowers are very distinctive, and have led to some authors suggesting it be placed in a separate genus. It was first collected by Wallich in Nepal, in 1833.

A lithophyte or epiphyte, it has pseudobulbs 70 x 40, bearing 7 to 13 leaves, which grow up to 65 mm long. The scape is slender, 300 to 600 mm long, somewhat erect to horizontal in form, usually with 20 to 35 closely packed flowers. Flowers are some 30 mm across, pendulous, bell shaped, in a large crowded cluster, often highly scented. The sepals and petals are cream or pale straw yellow, sometimes tinged pale pink, to pale yellow-green. The lip is cream to pale green, occasionally sparsely red spotted, with two bright orange-yellow callus ridges and a brown, reddish or cream depression at the base.

It is native of Nepal, north east India, Bhutan, north Burma, and south west China, growing from 1500 to 2500 metres altitude. It naturally prefers trees and rocks in damp, shady forest, sometimes on shaded rocks overhanging streams. It flowers in mid to late autumn.

There appears some reason for the earlier name of Cym longifolium to be used, but the more widely used and understood name Cym elegans has been proposed to be retained (conserved); a final decision on this matter is not known, so both names may be encountered. It is understood that hybrid swarms with Cym erythraeum in Sikkim have occurred, exhibiting all stages of intermediary.

2. d. II   Cym cochleare Lindley

Synonyms

Cyperorchis cochlearis
Cyperorchis babae
Cymbidium babae
Cym kanran
var. babae

This is an elegant species, with very long slender leaves, and a flower spike that resembles Cym elegans. It was described by Lindley in 1858 from a specimen collected by J. D. Hooker in Sikkim.

This is an epiphyte, rarefy terrestrial, producing small pseudobulbs, 60 x 25 mm, bearing 9 to 14 narrow leaves, each of which is 500 to 900 mm long. The scape is 300 to 650 mm long, very slender, wiry, erect to horizontal or arching, bearing 7 to 20 flowers. Each flower is about 25 mm in diameter, bell shaped, waxy, pendulous, not strongly scented. The tepals are greenish-brown, with a pale margin, glossy, the lip yellow or orange-yellow, with numerous red brown spots on the side and mid lobes, the callus yellow.

Native of north India, perhaps Burma and Thailand, Taiwan, growing 300 to 1500 metres altitude. It grows in tropical valleys, in shade, flowering naturally in late autumn to mid winter.

2. d. III   Cym whiteae King and Pantling

Synonym

Cyperorchis whiteae

First described in 1898 from specimens collected in Sikkim, the name was given in honour of Mrs. C. White who discovered this species. It has been commented that the plant can still be found in the wild, but rather rarely.

An epiphyte, it has pseudobulbs up to 100 x 25 mm, with some 12 to 14 leaves, growing in an indeterminate fashion for about 2 years before a new growth is produced, Leaves are about 900 mm long. The scape is some 200 to 300 mm long, arising from near the base of the pseudobulb, bearing 10 to 12 flowers. Each flower is about 35 mm in diameter, bell shaped, more or less erect to pendulous. The sepals and petals are greenish, flushed and spotted with red-brown. The lip is white with numerous fine maroon or brownish spots, the mid lobe pale yellow, the callus white.

Native of Sikkim, it grows from 1500 to 2000 metres above sea level, growing usually on trees in evergreen forest. This forest is wet during the spring, summer and autumn, but in winter is very dry, and the temperatures become quite low. Flowering is usually mid to late autumn.

2. d. IV   Cym sigmoideum J. J. Smith

Synonym

Cyperorchis sigmoidea

Discovered in central Sumatra by the collector W. Micholitz, specimens were sent to the orchid nursery of Frederick Sander, who, alter in 1905, sent one to Kew Gardens for identification, but Rolfe failed to recognise it as a new species. J. J. Smith described it shortly afterwards based on a collection from Java.

This is an epiphyte with pseudobulbs 60 x 20 mm, stem like and not conspicuous as it is within the leaf bases. Pseudobulbs are produced annually, bearing about 9 to 12 leaves, which are up to 900 mm long. The scape is about 250 mm long, produced from the base of the pseudobulb, bearing 4 to 8 flowers, the individual flowers are 35 mm across, waxy, inconspicuous, pendulous to horizontal. Sepals and petals are deep apple green, spotted and stained with dark or purple -brown. The callus is light green.

Native of Java and Sumatra, it grows from 800 to 1600 metres altitude, on trunks and larger branches of trees in montane rainforest, often in deep shade. It flowers sporadically almost throughout the year.


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