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 W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; 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