Cymbidium elegans

Cymbidium elegans is a species that reminds us of the wonderful mountain rainforests of the himalayas. On our visits to Sikkim we have found the species growing abundantly in large trees where it seems to flourish on large branches were it is exposed to the sun. The forests we found it in was cool evergreen forests at around 2000 to 2500m altitude. Here the forests is mostly evergreen and the climate is very wet in the summer monsoon and in the 'dry season' mists are common and it still rains at least a couple of times a week. We therefore keep plants well watered throughout the year.

In its habitat it experiences cool nights in the winter - you need a warm fleece when you get up in the mornings with temperatures down to close to freezing, although the forests keeps temperatures a little warmer. We are just setting up our Himalayan House at the nursery where we will keep a minimum temperature of 7C although of course on Portland nights when the heating will come on are not common. Of course in Sikkim the day time temperature rises quickly with the tropical sun and so winter sun on the greenhouse is very useful.

Cymbidium elegans flowers in the autumn and its arching pendulous spikes of glorious creamy yellow flowers a re a delight. If you look closely at the photo you can see seed pods forming and we look forward to sowing the seed in our lab in twelve months time.