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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE Charles and Margaret Baker Cymbidium erythrostylum Rolfe AKA: Cyperorchis erythrostyla (Rolfe) Schlechter. ORIGIN/HABITAT: Vietnam (Annam). Plants grow at about 4920 ft. (1500 m). CLIMATE: Station #48881, Dalat, Vietnam, Lat. 11.1N, Long. 108.1E, at 3156 ft. (1035 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of 4750 ft. (1447 m), resulting in probable extremes of 88F (31C) and 38F (3C). N/HEMISPHERE JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC F AVG MAX 75 77 79 80 79 76 76 75 75 75 74 74 F AVG MIN 51 52 54 57 60 60 60 60 60 58 55 53 DIURNAL RANGE 24 25 25 23 19 16 16 15 15 17 19 21 RAIN/INCHES 0.2 0.9 1.6 4.6 9.1 6.1 7.7 8.2 10.1 9.7 2.7 1.3 HUMIDITY/% 68 64 65 71 78 81 82 83 84 82 76 73 BLOOM SEASON * * ** *** *** * DAYS CLR @ 7AM 13 13 13 9 5 3 2 2 2 5 7 10 DAYS CLR @ 1PM 8 8 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 4 RAIN/MM 5 23 41 117 231 155 196 208 257 246 69 33 C AVG MAX 23.7 24.9 26.0 26.5 26.0 24.3 24.3 23.7 23.7 23.7 23.2 23.2 C AVG MIN 10.4 11.0 12.1 13.7 15.4 15.4 15.4 15.4 15.4 14.3 12.6 11.5 DIURNAL RANGE 13.3 13.9 13.9 12.8 10.6 8.9 8.9 8.3 8.3 9.4 10.6 11.7 S/HEMISPHERE JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN Cultural Recommendations: LIGHT: 3000-4000 fc. In the habitat, light is lower in summer and early autumn because it is reduced by the heavy clouds associated with the summer monsoon. This seasonal variation should be duplicated in cultivation by providing at least 50% shading during the middle of the day in summer. Shading should be removed allowing as much light as possible, short of burning the leaves, in autumn and winter. TEMPERATURE: Summer days average 75-76F (24C), nights average near 60F (15C), with a diurnal range of 15-16F (8-9C). HUMIDITY: 75-85% for most of the year. WATER: Rainfall is heavy from late spring through early autumn, with short, one month transitions into and out of the 4 month winter dry season. FERTILIZER: A balanced fertilizer mixed at near recommended strength should be applied weekly during periods of active growth. Many growers recommend using a fertilizer lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus during autumn to promote better blooming the next season and to allow the new growths to harden before winter. In order to prevent salt buildup, the medium should be leached every few weeks during periods of heavier fertilizer applications. This is especially important in areas with heavily mineralized water. Leaching is performed by watering the plant normally to dissolve any accumulated salts, and then an hour or so later running water equal to about twice the volume of the pot through the medium. REST PERIOD: Winter days average 74-77F (23-25C), nights average 51-53F (10-12C), with an increased diurnal range of 21-25F (12-14C). Rainfall is low for 4 months in winter and early spring, so water should be reduced but not eliminated during this time. The high humidity and nightly cooling result in frequent, heavy deposits of dew, and more water is available as mist from fog and low clouds. These conditions may be simulated in cultivation by occasional early morning misting, with a light watering every 2-3 weeks, especially if a period of bright sunny weather is expected. Fertilizer should be reduced or eliminated until active growth resumes and watering is increased in the spring. Relatively high light levels should be maintained to reflect the greater number of clear winter days found in the habitat. GROWING MEDIA: Plants should be kept moist during the growing season. Consequently, the medium needs to retain some moisture, but it also needs to be open and fast draining to prevent root rot which occurs in soggy, stale medium. Most growers use a mix based on either fir bark or chopped tree-fern fiber. Chopped sphagnum moss, osmunda, gritty sand, perlite, charcoal, and fibrous loam are other materials that are frequently added in varying amounts to the basic media. Some growers use straight small to medium fir bark. Medium-grade bark in the bottom half of the pot, topped with fine bark mixed with about 10% perlite and 10% charcoal produces very good results. Cymbidiums are heavy feeders, and growers frequently recommend adding old manure and other forms of solid fertilizer to the media. Plants should be repotted every two years, or more often if the plant outgrows the pot or if the media breaks down. Repotting should be done when new root growth starts in late winter with plants that are not carrying an inflorescence. Otherwise, repotting should be done as soon after flowering as possible, with extra care taken not to break the brittle new roots. MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom period shown in the climate table is based on cultivation records. In nature, plants bloom in late spring-early summer. We wondered what might cause spring blooming in nature and fall blooming in cultivation and after reviewing the climate data, we speculate that plants might bloom in response to the wet/dry cycle. It is very difficult to keep cultivated plants wet enough during hot summer days, so it may be that they bloom in response to dryer conditions. Conditions required to initiate blooming have not been identified. Plant and Flower Information: PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: An 18-20 in (45-50 cm) epiphyte, lithophyte, or terrestrial. PSEUDOBULBS: 2.4 in. (6 cm) tall. Each flattened oval shaped pseudobulb is covered by the bases of the leaves and 2-3 cataphylls or lower leaves that emerge from the base. LEAVES: 18 in. (45 cm) long. Each growth carries 6-8 narrow, arching, distichous leaves INFLORESCENCE: 6-14 in (15-35 cm) long. The slender, arching peduncle emerges from the base of immature pseudobulbs between the cataphylls or lower leaves. FLOWERS: 4-8 per inflorescence. Each blossom is about 1.2 in. (6 cm) across. The appear triangular with broad, flat sepals that open fully, and petals that point forward and cover the column and the base of the lip. Sepals and petals are white with a texture that glistens as though they have been frosted. The lower end of the petals, which are pale pink along the mid-vein, are sometimes spotted with pink at the base. The lip is yellow-white, with darker yellow on the midlobe. It has strong deep red veins become broken and spotted near the edges of the sidelobes. The flowers are not fragrant, but they are very long lasting. HYBRIDIZING NOTES: Chromosome count is 2n = 40. This species has been widely used in hybridization because it has large, long lasting flowers and an early bloom season. Growers report that, when crossed with C. mastersii, the offspring often bloom 2-3 years from the same pseudobulb. REFERENCES: Crossley, J. 1991. Cymbidiums in California or my forty year love affair with cymbidiums. Orchid Digest, 55(1):34, Jan.-Mar. Du Puy, D., and P. Cribb. 1988. The genus Cymbidium. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Hamilton, R. 1990. Flowering months of orchid species under cultivation. Orchid Biology Reviews and Perspectives, V. J. Arditti, ed. Timber Press, Portland, Or. Hawkes, A.  1987. Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids. Faber and Faber, London. Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker Sheet version 4060121 ......................................................................... Please remember that this sheet is for your use only, and though it was provided free of charge, it may not be reproduced or retransmitted in any way without permission. ......................................................................... __________________________________________________________________________ "Orchid Species Culture" Charles & Margaret Baker, Portland, Oregon USA Orchid Culture & Pollination site http://www.orchidculture.com email <firstname.lastname@example.org> __________________________________________________________________________ "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 1 - Pescatorea, Phaius, Phalaenopsis, Pholidota, Phragmipedium, Pleione" 250 pages of culture information. "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 2 - Dendrobium" 850 pages of culture information for more than 1230 Dendrobium species. "The genus Paphiopedilum--Natural History and Cultivation" - Part 1 Dr. Guido Braem, Charles and Margaret Baker ISBN 0-9665337-0-4 Full page color photograph of each species. "The genus Paphiopedilum--Natural History and Cultivation" - Part 2 Dr. Guido Braem, Charles and Margaret Baker ISBN 0-9665337-1-2 Full page color photograph of each species. "Orchid Species Culture Vol. 3 - The Laelia/Cattleya Alliance" coming in a few months. __________________________________________________________________________