Orchid Wise

Cymbidium Primary Hybrid – Cym. Darch Primary

In this series of articles we showcase the somewhat lesser known area of Cymbidium history. The Cymbidium Primary Hybrid. Cymbidium Primary Hybrid’s are the result of crossing two Cymbidium species plants, and these crosses have created some stunning plants. And it is where all of our modern hybrids have originally come from.

Cymbidium Darch Primary is the Primary Hybrid crossing of Cymbidium iridioides x Cymbidium munronianum

This Cymbidium Primary Hybrid was registered with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in 2021 by Ezi-Gro Orchids.

I’m not sure why this primary hybrid took so long to be made, but I guess Cym. munronianum isn’t exactly too common. Until I obtained this cross I’d never heard of Cym. munronianum. Cym. iridioides on the other hand is pretty well known, but obtaining the real deal and not a hybrid is quite tricky sometimes.

I obtained my seedling of Cym. Darch Primary in 2020. The photo here was taken when my plant flowered for the first time in 2021. This photo was then forwarded to Ezi-Gro Orchids for the cross to be registered.

I have no idea how many seedlings are out there, but it can’t be too many. Not having seen any other flowered seedlings, I think mine is a pretty cool. And being a seedling, one of a kind. At only about 5cm across, it is a miniature for sure, but the spike was easily 50cm tall and had nine flowers on it. A pretty good effort for a first flowering. It is a compact little plant, obviously taking that from its Cym munronianum heritage.

Cym. Darch Primary is a great plant for those with little space or a love of miniature flowers.

Given Cym. iridioides has quite large flowers foliage and bulbs, Cym. munronianum has had a significant effect in reducing the plant size, leaf size and flower size. This is definitely a plant for those with little space or those who collect miniature Cymbidiums. It really is a miniature plant!

Cym. munronianum was first described in 1895 and has only seven registered progeny. All of these registrations have been made after 1993, almost 100 years after Cym. munronianum had first been described. So that begs the question of why? Well, a synonym of Cym. munronianum is Cymbidium ensifolium var. munronianum, and looking at a photo of Cym. munronianum taken from Orchidroots below), it certainly looks a lot like Cym. ensifolium to me. So maybe prior crossings have been made under the Cym. ensifolium parent name.

Cym. iridioides, however, has been used as a parent 28 times, but due to its size, has lost favour with breeders. It is a large plant and needs space to grow. Something that is becoming rare these days, so not many can keep it. Cym. iridioides is also not an easy plant to find now, being mistaken for a lot of hybrids.

Given the fact this cross is pretty rare, I doubt many new progeny will come in the near future, however there is potential given it’s fine foliage to reduce the size of other plants to make them more compact.

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