While this particular cultivar of Cymbidium Mary Green probably would not qualify for a formal flower quality award, she certainly earns her place in heartfelt appreciation for beauty and abundant gold and pink blooms. This orchid was our introduction to Cymbidium devonianum hybrids, a group of hybrids with distinctive bold lips contrasting with a range of vibrant flower colors. Cymbidium Mary Green is a cross of Cymbidium Sarah Jean and Cymbidium devonianum.
The hybrids of the wide-ranging, pan-Himalyan species Cymbidium devonianum are a favorite here, with pendulous flower spikes and adaptability to our local environment. They enjoy our pure water and low fertilizer culture, and are quite tolerant of our colder temperatures. The long winter dry period that we usually employ, to protect roots from months of nights near or below freezing, appears amenable to the natural monsoonal cycle of Cymbidium devonianum. Cymbidium devonianum hybrids spike readily in the spring, with a peak bloom period of April-May.
This particular orchid arrived with a bit more than useful fanfare, with the “build it and they will come” attitude. On the day that we finished building our first shade house, Paul went to the farmer’s market for the usual veggie and winter orange pickup. When he returned, he asked me to close my eyes and handed me a pot. At the time, I did not even recognize what kind of orchid she was! I had not seen a “mini cymbidium” before, only the larger standards. This was soon figured out, and Cymbidium Mary Green has been a reliable grower and bloomer for many years. It was a highly unusual purchase as well, as they rarely sell Cymbidium at the farmer’s market, generally just a table of stock Phalaenopsis hybrids.
One culture note: when transitioning a salt-intolerant orchid species like Cymbidium devonianum (and its hybrids) to purer water and low fertilizer culture, there seems to be a tendency for a “detox period” when there are more black leaf tips and lower quality foliage. I’ve observed this in our Cymbidium devonianum hybrids and many New Guinea Dendrobium species which have previously been on a “diet” of tap water and/or higher fertilizer. It passes after a season or two, and they return to clean green leaves. Flowers are unaffected.
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