Cymbidium dayanum

Cymbidium dayanum

Pronunciation: sim-BID-ee-um

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily: Epidendroideae
  • Tribe: Cymbidieae
  • Subtribe: Cyrtopodiinae
  • Alliance: Cymbidium
  • Genus: Cymbidium, Swartz 1799

General Characteristics

  • sympodial
  • raceme inflorescences
  • long, green, narrow leaves
  • sheathed pseudobulbs
  • flowers have a waxy texture

Cymbidium, or boat orchids, is a genus of 52 evergreen species, distributed through out Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Cymbidium plants are sympodial and grow to a height of 60cm, and the racemes as high as 90cm. The raceme grows from the base of the most recent pseudobulb. Each flower can have a diameter of 5 to 10cm, according to the species. They bloom during the winter, and each plant can have up to fifteen or more flowers.

The fantastic range of colors for this genus include white, green, yellowish-green, cream, yellow, brown, pink, and red (and there may be markings of other color shades at the same time), but not blue and black. The flowers last about ten weeks, and have a waxy texture.

Cymbidiums tend to grow more leaves than most orchids. Roughly eight long, green, narrow leaves originate from the sheath of each pseudobulb.


  • Temperature: Cymbidiums can be divided into three basic groups.
  1. Large flowered species from China and the Himalayas require a pronounced period of cool weather during the late summer and early fall, such as coastal California, to initiate flower spiking, maximum night temperatures of 53˚F (12˚C).
  2. Small flowered terrestrial species from the Himalayas, China and Japan do not require a substantial chilling period to bloom. These do well in cool to intermediate temperatures year round.
  3. Small flowered tropical species require no chilling period and prefer to be warm year round.
  • Light: Anything having ancestors from the higher elevations will need high light intensities to grow and more importantly, flower freely. Cymbidiums are quite happy with between 5000-6,000 ft. candles (about 50% shade) of noon light and can take direct sun either in the early am or late pm. However, they do not enjoy full sun all day except maybe in coastal areas of California. As flower colors fade in this light it is quite acceptable to add extra shade over actual blooming plants or take them indoors when blooming for a month or so and enjoy the blooms. Most failures with re-blooming Cymbidiums can be traced to inadequate light.
  • Water & Humidity: Watering and fertilizing: Cymbidiums enjoy copious water during their summer growth but also have substantial pseudobulbs to store moisture so don’t suffer if left up to 10-12 days between waterings in the depth of winter, especially in higher latitude regions. Always water well, making sure the pot is fully saturated and then let dry out before the next watering.
  • Fertilizer: Cymbidiums are heavy feeders in their growth periods and much less over winter. Some hobbyists achieve very good results by using slow release fertilizers like Nutricote as topdressing twice a year. This product is sold under various trade names like “Dyn-O-Mite” in one-pound containers. The 13-13-13 formulation that is good for 180 days is very satisfactory. Apply it twice a year in early spring and again six months later. It is recommended to apply a heaped teaspoon per 6-inch pot in spring and a level teaspoon in fall with more or less for bigger or smaller plants. If you prefer to liquid feed, use 20-20-20 year round, at recommended strength in summer and fall and at 1/3 recommended rate over winter into spring. Many growers topdress their plants with a heaped teaspoon of Epsom salts (MgSO4) in June and again in mid-August in the northern hemisphere.
  • Potting: Cymbidiums are semi-epiphytic so enjoy any growing medium that is free draining. Many growers use a mixture of coconut chip, bark and perlite that is supplemented with dolomitic lime to bring up the pH. Dividing and repotting should always follow flowering but not until the new shoots are about 5-6 inches long. Potting up to a larger size pot when the root-ball is in good condition can be done at any season except winter. The large flowered species are usually grown in large pots or tubs; the small flowered terrestrial types bear upright inflorescences and are best grown in pots; the small flowered tropical Cymbidiums mostly produce pendent inflorescences and should be grown in hanging baskets or pots.


  • Cymbidium aestivum {Yunnan & SC. China}
  • Cymbidium aliciae {Philippines}
  • Cymbidium aloifoliumAloe-Leafed Cymbidium {Himalaya to W. Malaysia}
  • Cymbidium atropurpureum {S. Thailand & W. & C. Malaysia}
  • Cymbidium bicolorTwo-Colored Cymbidium {S. China to Tropical Asia}
    • Cymbidium bicolor subsp. bicolor {S. India & Sri Lanka} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
    • Cymbidium bicolor subsp. obtusum {Himalaya to S. China & Indo-China} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
    • Cymbidium bicolor subsp. pubescens {W. & C. Malaysia}
  • Cymbidium borneense {N. & NW. Borneo}
  • Cymbidium canaliculatumBanana Orchid, Queensland Black Orchid, Small Groove-leaf Cymbidium {N. & E. Australia}
  • Cymbidium chawalongense {newly discovered in Tibet}
  • Cymbidium chloranthumGreen-flowered Cymbidium {W. Malaysia}
  • Cymbidium cochleare {E. Himalaya to Taiwan}
  • Cymbidium cyperifolium {Himalaya to S. China & Philippines}
    • Cymbidium cyperifolium subsp. cyperifolium {Himalaya to S. China} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
    • Cymbidium cyperifolium subsp. indochinense {Indo-China & Philippines} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
  • Cymbidium dayanumPhoenix Orchid, Tree Orchid, Day’s Cymbidium {Himalaya to S. Japan & Malaysia}
  • Cymbidium defoliatum {China}
  • Cymbidium devonianumDevon’s Cymbidium {Nepal to N. Thailand}
  • Cymbidium eburneumIvory-colored Cymbidium {Himalaya to Hainan}
  • Cymbidium elongatum {NW. Borneo}
  • Cymbidium ensifoliumFour Season Orchid, Golden-thread Orchid, Spring Orchid, Burned Apex Orchid, Rock Orchid {Tropical & Temperate E. Asia}
    • Cymbidium ensifolium subsp. ensifoliumMt. Tu-Wu Fall Orchid {Indo-China to Temperate E. Asia} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
    • Cymbidium ensifolium subsp. haematodes {S. India to New Guinea} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
  • Cymbidium erythraeumIndian Cymbidium {Himalaya to SC. China}
  • Cymbidium erythrostylumRed Column Cymbidium {Vietnam}
  • Cymbidium faberiMulti-flower Orchid, Miscanthus Orchid {Uttaranchal to Taiwan}
    • Cymbidium faberi var. faberi {C. & S. China & Taiwan} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
    • Cymbidium faberi var. szechuanicum {Uttaranchal to SC. China} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
  • Cymbidium finlaysonianumFinlayson’s Cymbidium {Indo-China to Malaysia}
  • Cymbidium flavum {China}
  • Cymbidium floribundumGolden Leaf-edge Orchid, Golden-edged Orchid, Yellow Margin Orchid {S. China & Taiwan}
  • Cymbidium goeringiiSpring Orchid {Himalaya to Temperate E. Asia}
    • Cymbidium goeringii var. goeringiiGoering’s Cymbidium {Himalaya to Temperate E. Asia} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
    • Cymbidium goeringii var. gracillimumLeek Orchid, Chive Orchid {Japan to S. China} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
    • Cymbidium goeringii var. longibracteatum {SC. China} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
    • Cymbidium goeringii var. tortisepalumMt. Tsukerg Orchid, Snow Orchid, Broad-leaf Spring Orchid {Taiwan} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
  • Cymbidium gongshanense {S. China}
  • Cymbidium insigneSplendid Cymbidium {N. Thailand to Hainan}
  • Cymbidium iridioidesIris-like Cymbidium {Himalaya to SC. China}
  • Cymbidium lancifoliumGreen-flowered Peacock Orchid, Lance-leafed Cymbidium {Tropical & Subtropical Asia}
    • Cymbidium lancifolium var. lancifoliumGreen Bamboo-leaf Orchid, Cut-grass Orchid {Tropical & Subtropical Asia} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
    • Cymbidium lancifolium var. papuanum {New Guinea} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
  • Cymbidium longifolium {Himalaya to SC. China}
  • Cymbidium lowianumLow’s Cymbidium {China to N. Indo-China}
    • Cymbidium lowianum var. kalawense {Myanmar} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
    • Cymbidium lowianum var. lowianum {China to N. Indo-China} Pseudobulb epiphyte.
  • Cymbidium macrorhizon {N. Pakistan to Temperate E. Asia}
  • Cymbidium madidumButtercup Orchid, Northern Cymbidium, Moist Forest Cymbidium {Queensland to N. New South Wales}
  • Cymbidium mastersiiMaster’s Cymbidium {E. Himalaya to China}
  • Cymbidium micranthum {Yunnan, SC. China & Temperate Asia}
  • Cymbidium multiradicatum {Yunnan & SW. China}
  • Cymbidium munronianum {E. Himalaya to Assam}
  • Cymbidium nanulum {China (SW. Yunnan, SW. Guizhou) & Hainan}
  • Cymbidium qiubeiense {China}
  • Cymbidium rectum {Malaysia & N. Borneo}
  • Cymbidium roseum {W. Malaysia}
  • Cymbidium sanderaeSander’s Cymbidium {Vietnam}
  • Cymbidium schroederi {C. Vietnam}
  • Cymbidium sigmoideum {W. Malaysia}
  • Cymbidium sinenseChinese Cymbidium {Assam to Nansei-shoto}
  • Cymbidium suaveSnake Orchid {E. Australia}
  • Cymbidium suavissimum {N. Myanmar}
  • Cymbidium wenshanense {China to Vietnam}
  • Cymbidium whiteae {Sikkim}
  • Cymbidium wilsonii {China}


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