3. b. SECTION MAXILLARIANTHE
The section plants are characterised by having 5 to 13 leaves on each growth, and by certain physiological distinctions.
3. b. I Cym cyperifolium Schltr
First collected on the Khasia Hills of India, it was described in 1833.
This is a medium to short terrestrial species, with small inconspicuous pseudobulbs. The 5 to 10 leaves are 500 to 900 mm long. The scape is 230 to 430 mm long, medium or slender, erect, bearing 4 to 7 flowers normally. Each flower is about 40 to 50 mm across, lemon scented, the tepals apple-green fading to yellow-green, occasionally pale yellow or straw coloured, with 5 to 7 longitudinal red-brown lines. The lip is pale green or whitish, sometimes pale yellow, with red-purple streaks on the side lobes which slowly become confluent at the margin, and red-purple spots and blotches on the mid lobe.
Distributed from Nepal, North East India, Bhutan, South China, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines, it grows at an altitude between 1500 to 2750 metres. It prefers temperate rain forest or bamboo forest, on steep banks or boulders and loam, in the shade. It flowers in the Himalayas late autumn to mid winter, and early spring to mid summer in Thailand and Cambodia.
There are two subspecies of Cym cyperifolium -
a. subspecies cyperifolium typically has leaves 500 to 900 mm long, and floral bracts 18 to 35 mm long. The sepals and petals are green with red-brown at the base and over the mid vein, the petals are broader than the sepals. It is a medium sized clump forming plant, native of Nepal, NE India, Bhutan and S. China.
b. subspecies indochinense is a medium to small terrestrial, resembling Cym ensifolium in its habit and flower colour. However, it has 5 to 8 leaves and the transition between the full size leaves and the catahpylls is gradual.
It is native of Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines.
3. b. II Cym faberi Rolfe
This species has a wide distribution, and variation over this range. It was first described in 1896.
It is a short to medium sized terrestrial, with small inconspicuous pseudobulbs. The 5 to 9 leaves on each growth are often grey-green in colour. The scape grows 260 to 620 mm tall, erect, slender or robust, bearing 4 to 20 flowers. Each flower is about 60 mm across, often drooping and not opening fully, and are lightly scented. The tepals are green to yellowish, sometimes stained reddish, especially over the mid vein of the petals. The lip is yellowish or green, often with a narrow white margin. The side lobes are lined with red, usually with a red margin, and the mid lobes has many reddish spots and blotches.
This species is native of Nepal, North India, China, and Taiwan, growing from 1000 to 2900 metres above sea level on steep cliffs, in open situations in scrubby forest, or where shade is low. Its principal flowering is from early spring to early summer.
This species has a wide geographic distribution, and variation over this area has allowed the distinction of 2 major varieties.
1. var. faberi
This is a small to medium plant with 5 to 8 leaves, grey green in colour. The scape is robust, usually with 9 to 20 flowers, which are olive-green to yellow-green in colour, and are held above the foliage. This variety is distributed in China and Taiwan. It grows at a high altitude - up to 3000 metres altitude, in mountainous regions, often growing in open sunny situations, often near streams in soil filled crevices and ledges. This suggests that it is cold tolerant.
2. var. szechuanicum
This differs from var. faberi in that it often has fewer flowers, on a. weaker scape, its floral bracts are longer, and has longer sepals, with the lip broader and more oblong in shape.
Specimens of this variety were first described in 1966 as a separate species, but in 1980 was reduced to a variety of Cym faberi. It is native of China, Nepal and India. Collections have been made in nature at around 2000 metres above sea level where there was frost at night, and patches of snow lay on the ground that suggests that the plants are quite hardy. One habitat has been described as ' occurs on steep north or north-west facing slopes in deep shade under dense scrubby woodland cover. Ground cover was sparse.
2. b. II Cym goeringii (Rchb. f. )Rchb. f.
This species was first described on a Japanese specimen in 1835. It varies considerably over its range, with some of the most distinct variants found in Taiwan. It has been cultivated in Japan and China for several centuries, and many variants have been selected and maintained in cultivation, especially those with variegated leaves, albino or peloric flowers.
This is a terrestrial, with thick fleshy roots. The pseudobulbs are small. The 5 to 7 leaves are up to 800 mm long, but usually less than 400 mm in length. The scape is erect, 1 and occasionally 2 to 4, flowers. The flower is 40 to 50 mm across, slightly nodding or pointing forward, sometimes scented. The tepals are apple green to red-brown, stained red towards the base, especially over the mid vein of the petals. The lip is cream with crimson spots and margin on the side lobes, and sparse red blotches on the mid lobe. The callus is cream to pale yellow.
It is distributed from Japan, Korea, Ryukyus Island, widespread in southern China, and Taiwan, rare in north west India. It grows from 500 to 3000 metres altitude, as a terrestrial in open forest, usually on lightly shaded cliffs or slopes, often in coniferous forest near the sea in Japan. It naturally flowers from mid winter to early spring.
Three varieties are recognised by Du Puy and Cribb
1. var. goeringii is typically a small tufted species with 5 to 7 short arched leaves. Its flowers are usually borne singly on a short scape. The flowers are often slightly nodding and do not open widely, the petals extended forward, often closely covering the column The tepals are often green, with a red line over the base of the mid vein of the petals, but there are variants with various degrees of red-brown pigmentation. The tepals are often widest near the apex.
This variety is native of Japan, Korea, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, South China and North West India. In Japan it occurs in the warm temperate vegetative zone dominated by broad leaved evergreen forest. It is said to be usually found in lightly shaded cliffs or rocky slopes, often amongst grasses or bamboos.
2. Var. serratum
This is distinguished from the first variety by its very narrow strongly serrated leaves. The flowers are usually solitary, and often have a somewhat spidery shape, with rather slender tepals. The greenish flowers have some red veining on the sepals, and especially strongly on the petals. The lip is variously blotched with red. A variant without any red pigmentation on the flower is also known, which is usually sweetly scented.
Native of China, Taiwan and Japan, it was first described in 1919. It occurs mainly at high altitudes, up to 3000 metres above sea level in Taiwan, in steep rocky localities, often in broad leaved forest.
3. var. tortisepalum
This was originally described at Cym tortisepalum from Taiwan in 1980, it is distinct in that the spike commonly bears two to four flowers. The sepals are slender, usually with a slight twist in them, and are often cream in colour.
It is native of China and Taiwan. It is considered possible that this var. was a product of hybridisation with one of the species from the section Jensoa, although no firm evidence of this has been produced. In Taiwan it occurs mainly on steep slopes up to about 1500 metres altitude, preferring an open habitat, often growing in full sun with other grasses in rocky meadows.