(pronounced: sim-BID-ee-um)


Cymbidieae subtribe Cyrtopodiinae. DuPuy and Cribb (1988) divide the genus into three subgenera. In subgenus Cymbidium, comprising most of the larger-flowered species, the lip is free and there are usually two, cleft pollinia. Subgenus Cyperorchis bears f

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Caespitose epiphytes, lithophytes and terrestrials, rarely saprophytes, with coarse, thick roots. Pseudobulbs prominent or absent, concealed by persistent leaf bases. Leaves several, linear-ligulate to lanceolate, arching or erect, thin-textured to rigid-leathery, alternate, usually distichous. Inflorescences usually scapose racemes, erect to pendent, somtimes solitary flowers. Flowers often very showy, sometimes fragrant, cupped to bell-shaped (pendent), concolor or longitudinally striped. Sepals and petals usually subsimilar, free, spreading. Lip three-lobed, free or fused to the column at the base, the lateral lobes erect, with a callus of two ridges or two swellings. Column elongate, arching, +/- winged, +/- a short foot; pollinia 2 and deeply cleft or 4 in two unequal pairs, subsessile by short caudicles on a common viscidium.


From the Greek kymbes, meaning a boat-shaped cup, referring to the boat-shaped lip.


A genus of 44 species ranging from the Northwest Himalaya to Japan and south through the Philippines, New Guinea and Australia.

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