Colours and shapes
Cymbidium orchid flowers for weeks. Like a torch, it glows with red, purple, pink, orange, yellow, green or bicoloured flowers, that sometimes also have a soft, pleasant fragrance. It's available from standard sizes through to extra-large versions that make a gorgeous indoor shrub. Cymbidium is particularly desirable as it's one of the few plants that flower through autumn and winter.
Cymbidium is traditionally a special gift for friends, as the flower symbolises a valued and respected friendship. The Chinese philosopher Confucius admired Cymbidium so much, he named this orchid 'King of the Fragrant Plants'.
Cymbidium orchid is not a delicate plant. It originates from the southern slopes of the Himalayas. In that rocky, nutrient-poor soil, through freezing cold nights and in bright pale sunlight, it happily produces its sweet-smelling, elegant flowers.
Every flower has a hollow arched lip that resembles a boat. This shape is where the plant gets its common name 'boat orchid' from — and its scientific name too: ‘Kymbos’, the origin of Cymbidium, is the Greek word for boat.