Family Orchidaceae Subfamily Epidendroideae Tribe Cymbidieae Subtribe Cymbidiinae

Family Orchidaceae Subfamily Epidendroideae Tribe Cymbidieae Subtribe Cymbidiinae

Cymbidiinae Benth., J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 18 (1881) 287. Type genus: Cymbidium Sw.

Epiphytes, lithophytes or terrestrials, herbaceous, autotrophic or rarely heteromycotrophic. New shoots develop from the lower nodes of the old pseudobulb and persists for 2 or more years. Stem a pseudobulb, ovoid to spindle-shaped, occasionally cylindrical, often inconspicuous and concealed by the leaf bases. Roots with velamen, branching, usually from the base of the new growth, sometimes with erect, pointed, stiff litter-gathering roots on the spreading roots. Scale leaves absent or present, several surrounding the young shoot, often turning scarious and fibrous when older. Leaves coriaceous, plicate or conduplicate, distichous, linear-elliptic or narrowly ligulate to elliptic, acuminate to strongly 2-lobed at the apex; leaf sheaths persistent, broadly sheathing around the pseudobulb; articulate with the leaf blade. Inflorescences racemose, usually laterally from the cataphylls but occasionally from the leaf axils; peduncle erect, arching or pendulous, usually covered by inflated, cymbiform sheaths; floral bracts persistent. Flowers often showy, sometimes fragrant. Sepals and petals free or connate, subsimilar, often spreading, rarely reflexed or with the petals porrect and covering the column. Lip 3-lobed, rarely convex, free or at the base connate to the base of the column; lateral lobes erect and weakly clasping column; midlobe often recurved; usually with 2 parallel ridges and swollen toward the apex, sometimes broken in middle, convergent toward the apices or reduced to a pair of swellings at the base of the midlobe, rarely absent and replaced by a glistening shallow depression or fused into a single wedge-shaped ridge. Column curved, winged or less commonly with 2 lateral elongate arms, semi-terete in cross-section, in front concave; column foot absent; pollinia usually 2, deeply cleft but sometimes 4 in 2 unequal pairs, triangular, quadrangular, ovoid or club-shaped, subsessile and attached by elastic caudides to a usually triangular viscidium which has the lower corners usually drawn out into thread-like appendages. Fruit a capsule, fusiform to ellipsoid or oblong-ellipsoid, narrowing at base into the pedicel and at the apex into a beak formed by the persistent column.
(after Cribb 2009)

Subtribe Cymbidiinae contains 8 genera. Ansellia is endemie to Africa south of the Sahara, and lmerinaea is endemic to Madagascar. 6 genera are distributed from the northwestern Himalaya to Japan and through Indo-China and Malesia to the Philippines, New Guinea, and Australia.

  • Chase, M.W., Cameron, K.M., Barrett , R.L., and Freudenstein, J.V. DNA data and Orchidaceae systematics: a new phylogenetic classification. In Orchid Conservation (edit. K.W. Dixon, S.P. Kell, R.L. Barrett, and P.J. Cribb) (2003) 69-89.
  • Cribb, P.J. Cymbidiinae, in A.M. Pridgeon, P.J. Cribb, M.W. Chase & F.N. Rasmussen (edit.), Genera Orchidacearum Vol. 5 Epidendroideae (Part Two) (2009) 47.
  • Dressler, R.L. Classification of the orchid family. In Proceedings of the7th World Orchid Conference (ed. M. Ospina) (1974) 259-279.
  • Dressler, R.L. The orchids: natural history and classiftcation (1981).
  • Dressler, R.L. Phylogeny and classification of the Orchids (1993).
  • Dressler, R.L. and Dodson, C.H. Classification and phylogeny in the Orchidaceae. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 47 (1960) 25-68.
  • Lindley, J. The genera and species of orchidaceous plants (1830-40).
  • Pfitzer, E. Entwurf einer naturlichen Anordnung der Orchideen (1887).
  • Schlechter, R. Die Gattungen Cymbidium Sw. und Cyperorchis Blume. Fedde, Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis 20 (1924) 96-110.
  • Szlachetko, D.L. New taxa within the order Orchidales. Folia Geobotanica et Phytotaxonomica 26 (1991) 315-329.
  • Szlachetko, D.L. Systema orchidalium. Fragmenta Floristica et Geobotanica, Supplementum (1995) 31-152.
  • Family Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Cymbidieae
  • Subtribe Cymbidiinae

Subtribe Cymbidiinae contains 8 genera, in New Guinea 5 genera:



1a. Plants scandent or climbing == 2
1b. Plants not scanden t or climbing == 3

2a. Leaves oblong-ovate, strongly pleated. Flowers white nerved with green. Lip convex, as wide as long == Claderia
2b. Leaves tapering, not pleated. Flowers cream-colour to purple, often spotted. Lip concave, longer than wide == Dipodium

3a. Inflorescences terminal, or from the upper nodes of the pseudobulbs or the stems == Dipodium
3b. lnflorescences from base or from lower nodes of the pseudobulbs or the stems == 4

4a. Lateral sepals completely fused, forming a synsepal bchind labellum; column straight reflexed == Acriopsis
4b. Lateral sepals not or only basally fused with labellum; col-umn curved or straight == 5

5a. Flowers crearn, greenish yellow or yellow, with brown­ black spots; pollinia bornc on a deeply bifid stipe (may appear as 2 stipes) reflexed == Grammatophyllum
5b. Flowers not usually spotted on sepals and petals; pollinia borne on an entire stipe or sessile on viscidium == Cymbidium

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