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Cymbidium Floribundum

Text by Noe Smith

cym floribundumWhile most commonly known under its synonym of Cym pumilum, which is the name recognized for the purposes of hybrid registrations, Cym. Floribundum, to give the recognized botanical name to this species, is one of the most important of the miniature species in terms of the development of miniature and intermediate cymbidiums as we know them. It is also a most desirable and appealing orchid in its own right as the accompanying pictures of two beautifully grown and flowered examples illustrate.Cym floribundum

Cym floribundum is a true miniature in every sense of the word, having foliage between 30 and 45 cm. in length, flower scapes of between 15 and 40 cm long and flowers that range from 2 to 4 cm across. The flowers are closely spaced, with between around one dozen to over three dozen per inflorescence. Cym floribundum is native to China, Taiwan and Japan and grows in varied habitats including on rocks in shady gorges, in native pine forests and in sunny open locations. It may be found growing as a semi-terrestrial, or as an epiphyte.

cym floribundum

As the pictures illustrate Cym. floribundum can be a most floriferous species and is a rewarding subject in its own right, although it is when used as a parent in the hybridizing of miniature and intermediate cymbidiums that its true importance is realized.

Cym floribundum has a number of synonyms, with the name illiberale also in common usage along with pumilum and floribundum. Flower color ranges from pure color green through tan to brown and red.

Its cultural requirements are not demanding with plants growing happily under the conditions suiting the majority of Cymbidium hybrids. Stephen Early, in his reference work on Cymbidium species notes that it grows happily under shade house conditions in Melbourne and I have seen this species growing well in shade houses in South Australia and New South Wales, confirming its adaptability.cym floribundum
It’s clear that these traits of compact and floriferous habit, good flower counts, variety of color forms, plus ease and adaptability of culture suggest Cym floribundum as an ideal subject for hybridizing and its success as a parent proves its value.
A check of the RHS registrations shows a total of two hundred and nine registered hybrids using Cym pumilum (floribundum) with one hundred and twenty nine of those using this species as the pod parent and eighty as the pollen parent. What is more notable than merely the number of hybrids is the grexes produced, many of them being highly successful cymbidiums and great parents in their own right.

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