3. d. SECTION PACHYRHIZANTHE
Another section with but one species, which is distinctive in that it is a saprophyte, with an underground rhizome and leaves reduced to small scales. The scape is held above the ground.
3. d. I Cym macrorhizon Lindley
This small leafless saprophyte visible only when in flower. This unusual species was first described in 1883.
A small terrestrial that lacks pseudobulbs or leaves. The roots are short, often absent. The rhizome is 3 to 8 mm in diameter, soft, fleshy, with nodes 12 to 15 mm apart. The scape is 70 to 320 mm long, erect, with usually 3 to 6 flowers, which are usually produced at the end of the rhizome or on its side branches. Each flower is 30 to 40 mm across, the sepals and petals cream to pale yellow or brownish-pink with a diffuse central purple-red stripe to near the apex. The lip is white with red spots on the mid lobe and purple-red stripes on the side lobes, which join together at the edges. The callus is white, sometimes stained pink.
Native of Pakistan, North India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Laos, China, Japan, Taiwan and Ryukyus, its distribution is unusual in that it is not found continuously over this range. It has a greater east-west range than any other cymbidium species. It prefers broad leaved and pine forest, growing in damp humus in shade, flowering from late spring to late summer. It thrives in the damp decaying mats of pine needles, although is supported in other broad leaved forest. It grows up to 2500 metres altitude in Northern India, but down to virtual sea level in Japan.