January 15, 2018 | Nick Snakenberg, Curator of Tropical Collections and Associate Director of Horticulture

Denver Botanic Gardens’ orchid collection consists of nearly 1,000 species from over 280 genera. Many of these plants are rotated onto public display but there are specimens in our collections that don’t often make it out of our collection greenhouses. Hopefully, this blog will provide a bit of virtual access to the plants in the Gardens' orchid collection.

Cymbidium is a genus of around 50 species of orchids found throughout Southern and Eastern Asia and parts of Australia. This genus is particularly important in the cut-flower industry as Cymbidium flowers are popular in floral arrangements and especially as corsage flowers. Cymbidium erythrostylum is native to Vietnam where it grows at about 5,000 feet elevation. It prefers cooler temperatures and it is not unusual for plants to experience temperatures near freezing in it natural habitat.

Cymbidium Early Bird is a hybrid cross of Cymbidium erythrostylum and Cymbidium Edward Marshall. It was registered with the Royal Horticultural Society in 1946 and is an important parent for breeders to create white flowers for the cut flower trade.

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