Orchid of the Month
Cymbidium Golden Elf
Cymbidium orchids are typically cooler growing, semi-terrestrial orchids. Cymbidiums are considered semi-terrestrial because they have small round pseudobulbs even though they are a terrestrial orchid. They are native to the tropical and sub-tropical areas of Asia and Australia; although, many are found at high altitudes. Some even grow in the foothills of the Himalayas. They love the Mediterranean climate of coastal California and can be found growing in yards there. For this reason, they are often a difficult orchid to grow on a windowsill in a home, as it’s hard to give it the cool, moist environment they like.
On a recent trip to California, however, I found this “miniature cymbidium” orchid for sale in Santa Barbara that was more tolerant to heat. Cym Golden Elf has 18” high narrow leaves and much smaller flowers than a normal cymbidium. However, it grows just fine sitting in a west facing window. I have it in a room with a north and west exposure, so it’s normally cooler than the rest of the house; and, it gets late afternoon direct sunlight.