Some growers have wondered whether the album form of Cymbidium tracyanum truly exists … but seeing is believing. While I had previously found several photographs online, I was still intrigued and wondering what this division would look like when it finally bloomed. The orchid surely did not disappoint!
While Cymbidium tracyanum is known as an autumn blooming species, this cultivar bloomed in late January, with all flowers in the spike open on February 1st. This year, the album form followed the bloom of one of our other Cymbidium tracyanum cultivars (“normal” coloratum), which first opened in late December, and was beginning to fade as the album form flowered.
And yes, the album form of Cymbidium tracyanum is fragrant too.
Notice a color difference in the flower below? This photograph is from the 2020 flowering of the same plant. I was quite surprised when the blooms opened — much more clear yellow, with a tinge of green. The previous year flowers (images above) were distinctly straw yellow. I have been continually surprised by the year-to-year differences in the colors of orchid flowers, and outdoor Cymbidium in particular.
Cymbidium tracyanum is native to Thailand, Myanmar, and China. The original pseudobulb from which this plant was grown was reportedly wild-collected in China. I am only aware of two other album cultivars of Cymbidium tracyanum, one a diploid and the second a 4N clone, both grown by Andy Easton. The cultivar ‘Woodside’ JC/AOS above is believed to be diploid and originally awarded by Pierre Pujol, a respected Cymbidium grower in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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