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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE Charles and Margaret Baker Cymbidium atropurpureum (Lindley) Rolfe. AKA: Cymbidium pendulum (Roxburgh) Swartz var. atropurpureum Lindley. Cymbidium pendulum (Roxburgh) Swartz var. purpureum W. Watson. Cymbidium finlaysonianum Wallich ex Lindley var. atropurpureum (Lindley) Veitch. Cymbidium atropurpureum (Lindley) Rolfe var. olivaceum J.J. Smith. ORIGIN/HABITAT: Peninsular Thailand, Malaya, Sumatra, Borneo, and throughout the Philippines. The species has also been reported in Java and Vietnam but is evidently rather rare in these locations. In Malaya, plants have been found near Melaka (Malacca) and in the States of Johore and Pahang. In Sumatra, plants have been collected near Palembang. In Borneo, they are found in Kalimantan and Sabah, but details of habitat location were not given. These plants normally grow in the forks of forest trees but are occasionally found on rocks. They usually grow in lowland and lower mountain forests from near sea level to 3950 ft. (1200 m), but plants have been reported from elevations as high as 7200 ft. (2200 m). CLIMATE: Station #49630, Temerloh, Malaya, Lat. 3.5N, Long. 102.4E, at 163 ft. (50 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of 2000 ft. (610 m), resulting in probable extremes of 91F (33C) and 58F (14C). N/HEMISPHERE JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC F AVG MAX 79 82 84 85 85 84 84 84 84 83 81 80 F AVG MIN 65 65 66 67 67 67 66 66 66 67 67 66 DIURNAL RANGE 14 17 18 18 18 17 18 18 18 16 14 14 RAIN/INCHES 7.8 3.9 6.0 7.6 6.6 4.3 3.4 5.6 6.5 9.3 9.7 10.1 HUMIDITY/% 87 83 84 85 86 86 87 84 86 87 89 88 BLOOM SEASON * ** ** * * DAYS CLR @ 7AM 0 0 2 1 1 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 DAYS CLR @ 1PM 1 1 2 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 RAIN/MM 198 99 152 193 168 109 86 142 165 236 246 257 C AVG MAX 26.1 27.8 28.9 29.4 29.4 29.1 28.9 28.9 28.9 28.3 27.2 26.7 C AVG MIN 18.3 18.3 18.9 19.4 19.4 19.4 18.9 18.9 18.9 19.4 19.4 18.9 DIURNAL RANGE 7.8 9.5 10.0 10.0 10.0 9.7 10.0 10.0 10.0 8.9 7.8 7.8 S/HEMISPHERE JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN Cultural Recommendations: LIGHT: 2500-3500 fc. Light should be somewhat filtered or diffused, and plants should not be exposed to direct midday sun. Strong air movement should be provided at all times. TEMPERATURES: Throughout the year, days average 79-85F (26-29C), and nights average 65-67F (18-19C), with a diurnal range of 14-18F (8-10C). HUMIDITY: 80-90% year-round. WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy all year. Cultivated plants should be watered heavily while actively growing, but the medium should not be allowed to become stale or soggy. FERTILIZER: A balanced fertilizer mixed at 1/2-3/4 recommended strength should be applied weekly from late spring through autumn when the plant is actively growing. Some growers prefer to use a fertilizer somewhat higher in nitrogen early in the season, changing to a fertilizer higher in phosphorus during late summer and autumn. Others prefer to make alternate applications of high nitrogen and high phosphorus fertilizers during the year, particularly for the warm-growing lowland species that have no real rest period. To prevent a buildup of salt deposits, pots should be leached or flushed every few weeks when fertilizing heavily. This is especially true in areas with highly mineralized water supplies. To flush a pot, the plant should first be watered normally and then allowed to stand for about an hour to allow the accumulated salts in the medium to dissolve. The pot should then flushed with water equal to twice the volume of the pot to wash out the dissolved salts. REST PERIOD: Growing conditions should be maintained all year. Water may be reduced somewhat for cultivated plants in winter, particularly those grown in the dark, short-day conditions common in temperate latitudes. They should not be allowed to day out completely, however. Fertilizer should be reduced in winter if water is reduced. GROWING MEDIA: Because C. atropurpureum requires heavy watering during the growing season, the media should be open and fast draining. A mix based on either fir bark or chopped tree-fern fiber is used by most growers. Chopped sphagnum moss, osmunda, gritty sand, perlite, charcoal, and fibrous loam are frequently added in varying amounts to the basic media. In the Pacific Northwest, growers often use only small-to-medium fir bark. However, using a medium-grade bark in the bottom half of the pot, and topping it with a mixture of fine bark, 10% perlite, and 10% charcoal produces excellent results. Because Cymbidiums are heavy feeders, many growers also recommend adding composted manure or other balanced solid fertilizers to the medium in addition to the regular fertilizing program. Plants should be repotted every other year, or more often if the plant outgrows the pot or if the medium is deteriorating. Repotting should be done when new root growth starts in late winter if plants are not carrying an inflorescence. Otherwise, repotting should be done as soon after flowering as possible, with extra care to avoid breaking the brittle new roots. MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The bloom season shown in the climate table is based on cultivation records. In nature, these plants bloom primarily in spring, but may also bloom at other times of the year. Plant and Flower Information: PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A large sympodial epiphyte or lithophyte that grows 24-39 in. (60-100 cm) tall. PSEUDOBULB: To 4 in. (10 cm) long. The ovoid pseudobulb if often obscurely and weakly inflated, bilaterally flattened, and enclosed persistent leaf bases and about 4 thin, dry, leaf-like bracts. LEAVES: 20-35 in. (50-90 cm) long. The 7-9 rather rigid, arching, leathery leaves on each pseudobulb are 0.6-1.6 in. (1.5-4.0 cm) wide. INFLORESCENCE: 11-30 in. (28-75 cm) long. The arching to strongly pendulous flower spike emerges from the base of the pseudobulb from within the leaf-like sheathing bracts. FLOWERS: 10-33 blossoms are carried on each inflorescence. The flowers are 1.4-1.8 in. (3.5-4.5 cm) across and usually have a strong coconut-like fragrance. The individual flower stems and the ovaries are pale green but are often flushed with purple. The petals are deep maroon, while the sepals range from deep maroon to dull yellow-green with strong maroon staining. The lip is white with side lobes that are stained with maroon-purple. The midlobe is yellow in front of the callus ridges and is blotched with maroon. The callus ridges are bright yellow in front and stained maroon behind. The column is deep maroon, sometimes paler in front. The anther cap is white to pale yellow. Plants with deep wine-red sepals and petals are found in the Philippines and in lowland Sabah in Borneo. Plants with greenish sepals that still have the dark maroon petals and column are usually from West Malaya, Sumatra, and Thailand, but plants with this coloring have recently been reported as occurring at higher elevations in Sabah. HYBRIDIZING NOTES: N/A. REFERENCES: . Du Puy, D., and P. Cribb. 1988. The genus Cymbidium. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211 Beckwith Road, Richmond, B.C., Canada V6X 1V7. Holttum, R. 1964. A revised flora of Malaya. vol. 1, Orchids. Government Printing Office, Singapore. Seidenfaden, G. 1983. Orchid genera in Thailand XI. Cymbidieae Pfitz. Opera Botanica 72, Copenhagen, Denmark. Seidenfaden, G. 1992. The orchids of Indochina. Opera Botanica 114, Copenhagen, Denmark. Seidenfaden, G., and J. J. Wood. 1992. The orchids of peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Published in association with The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Botanic Gardens, Singapore. Olsen & Olsen, Helstedsvej 10, DK-3480 Fredensborg, Denmark. Wood, J. J. and P. Cribb. 1994. A checklist of the orchids of Borneo. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. PHOTOS/DRAWINGS: . Copyright 1997, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker Sheet version 567085 ......................................................................... 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. 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