Orchids Wiki
Cymbidium lowianum

Cymbidium lowianum.jpg

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Cymbidieae
SubTribe: Cyrtopodiinae
Genus: Cymbidium
Species: Cym. lowianum
Binomial name
Cymbidium lowianum
(Rchb. f.) Rchb. f. 1879

Cymbidium lowianum is a species of Cymbidium which blooms on a pendant inflorescence.


Plants bloom from winter to spring with fifteen to thirty 10 cm wide flowers on an arching inflorescence.

The plant was first collected in 1877 from Burma by Boxall who sent plants to Messer Lows.[1] Reichenbach later described the plant as Cymbidium giganteum, a variety of cymbidium iridoides from dried material.[1] He later raised the plant to species level in 1879 after seeing imported flowers.[1]

This species is recognized by its green flowers on a arching scape with a single bold maroon v-shaped patch on the midlobe.[1]

There are several distinct variants that are recognized, Cymbidium lowianum var. superbissimum L. Linden has clear green petals and sepals with a strong red patch on the midlobe.[1] Cymbidium lowianum var. concolor Rolfe lacks the red pigment in the lip which is replaced by a clear yellow color. [1]

Cymbidium lowianum var iansonii has slightly larger flowers than var. lowianum, the lip and callus has longer hairs, and the petals and sepals are marked with red brow colors and the midlobed of the lip is light brown.[1] Cymbidium lowianum var. iansonii was first collected in northern Burma in 1900 and flowered in the collection of Messrs Low. Rolfe described the plant as a hybrid between Cymbidium lowianum and Cymbidium tracyanum.[1] In 1934 specimens were collected in burma and described by Colyear as Cymbidium grandiflorum var. kalawensis. The plants appear to be an intermediate between lowianum and iansonii.[1]


Plants are found growing on damp shaded evergreen trees in the montane forest of Burma, Thailand, Yunnan China and Vietnam at elevations of 1300 to 2200 meters


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


Image Name Description
Cymbidium lowianum var aureum.jpg Cymbidium lowianum var aureum Sepals and petals are yellow, lip is yellow
Cymbidium lowianum burma.jpg Cymbidium lowianum variant Sepals and petals are yellow green, lip is yellow
Cymbidium iansonii.jpg Cymbidium lowianum var iansonii Sepals and petals are brown, lip is yellow


Common Name: Low's Cymbidium


  1. *Cymbidium giganteum var. lowianum Rchb. f. 1877
  2. Cymbidium grandiflorum var. kalawense Colear 1934
  3. Cymbidium hookerianum var. lowianum (Rchb.f.) Y.S.Wu & S.C.Chen 1980
  4. Cyperorchis lowiana (Rchb.f.) Schltr. 1924


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Cribb, Phillip, and David Du Puy (1988). The Genus Cymbidium (Timber Press).