Cymbidium suavissimum Sander ex C.H.Curtis 1928 SECTION Floribundum Seth & Cribb 1984

Photo courtesy of Lourens Grobler

Fragrance Part shade Warm Cool Summer

Common Name The Softest Cymbidium - In China Guo Xiang Lan

Flower Size 1.4" [3.5 cm]

Found in Myanmar, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces of China and Vietnam in lower primary, open, mossy, coniferous forests on rocky, marble-like, karst limestone at elevations of 700 to 1100 meters as a large sized, warm to cool growing epiphtye, lithophyte or terrestrial orchid with ovoid, lightly bi-laterally compressed pseudobulbs enveloped by persistent leaf bearing sheaths and to 5 purple cataphyls which become scarious and then fibrous with age and carrying 5 to 7, the shortest grading into the cataphylls, linear-elliptic, arching, acute, usually oblique apically, articulated about .8 to 2.5" [22 to 6 cm] from the pseudobulb leaves that blooms in the summer on a suberect, robust, to 50 flowered inflorescence with sweetly, fruit scented, close set flowers

Basically this species and C floribundum have many similarities but they differ in that this one has larger pseduobulbs to 2.4" [6 cm] long, purple cataphylls, a much longer leaf to 28" [to 70 cm] long, a much wider leaf, a to 20" [50 cm] long inflorescence carrying more flowers [to 50], that are fruit scented, has an auricle at the column base, longer sepals and petals as well as blooming in the summer.

C floribundum has small 1.15" [3.3 cm] long pseudobulbs with green cataphylls and a smaller in length as well as width leaf, a shorter inflorescence with less flowers that are unscented, have no auricle at the column base, with smaller sepals and petals and blooms in the spring.


References ; Flora of China Vol 25 Illustrations Zhengyi, Raven & Deyuan 2010 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 29 No 11 1960; AOS Bulletin Vol 50 No 5 1981 photo fide; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1B lieferung 25 1520 - 1584 Brieger 1991; Orchids Australia Vol 10 No 5 1998; Lindleyana Vol 15 No 4 2000; The Genus Cymbidium Du Puy & Cribb 2007 photo fide; Flora of China Vol 25 Zhengyi, Raven & Deyuan 2009; Flora of China Vol 25 Illustrations Zhengyi, Raven & Deyuan 2010 drawing ok; The Wild Orchids in Yunnan Xu Xiang Ye & Liu 2010 photos hmm