Orchids Wiki
Cymbidium kanran

Cymbidium kanran.jpg

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Cymbidieae
SubTribe: Cyrtopodiinae
Genus: Cymbidium
Species: Cym. kanran
Binomial name
Cymbidium kanran
Makino 1902

Cymbidium kanran is a species of Cymbidium found in Asia.


Plant blooms in winter to early spring with several 6 cm fragrant flowers.

Cymbidium kanran was first described by Makino in 1902 from a plant that was wildly collected in Japan.[1] This species has three to four leaves.[1] The leaves of this species is slender and glossy similar to those of Cymbidium sinense but much more narrow and sometimes longer.[1]

This species can be distinguished from Cymbidium sinense by its narrow leaves, long flower bracts, and its narrow spidery petals.[1]

The flower color varies with the most common being olive green with some brown spots with a pale green or yellow lip that has some red spots.[1]

Makino described color four variants in Japan f. purpurascens, f. viridescens, f. rubescens, and f. purpureo-viridescens.[1]

In 1914 Hayata described a purple variant from Taiwan as a separate species Cymbidium purpureo-heimale.[1] Ying later reduce it to a variation as Cymbidium kanran f. purpureo-heimale.[1] This variation was further distinguished by having lines of short hairs on the midlobe of its lip.[1]

In 1966 Wu & Chen described a plant as Cymbidium omiense found in Sichuan which has shorter leaves, smaller flowers, and shorter sepals[1]

In 1971 Maekawa described six color variants which are[1]

  1. green with strong brown veins and red brown markings on the lip.
  2. purple brown
  3. pink
  4. pale yellow
  5. green without any red or brown markings
  6. multi-colored also known as "sarasa" (calico)


Plants are found growing Taiwan, Guangdong, Gunagxi, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Hainan Island provinces of China; Honshu and the Ryuku Islands, Japan; and South Korea in open woodland forest at elevations of 400 to 2500 meters in elevation.[1]


Plant should be grown in cool to warm areas with medium light. Pot with bark and perlite. Plant prefers dry periods between watering. Reduce watering during the winter. Water about once a week. Plant can also be mounted.


Common Name: The Cold Growing Cymbidium


  1. Cymbidium kanran var. purpureohiemale (Hayata) S.S.Ying 1977
  2. Cymbidium linearisepalum Yamam. 1930
  3. Cymbidium linearisepalum f. atropurpureum Yamam. 1932
  4. Cymbidium oreophilum Hayata, Icon. Pl. Formosan. 4: 80 (1914
  5. Cymbidium purpureohiemale Hayata 1914
  6. Cymbidium sinokanran Yen 1964
  7. Cymbidium tosyaense Masam. 1935


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Cribb, Phillip, and David Du Puy (1988). The Genus Cymbidium (Timber Press).