Cymbidium canaliculatum

Cymidium canaliculatum1

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Cymbidieae
SubTribe: Cyrtopodiinae
Genus: Cymbidium
Species: Cym. canaliculatum
Binomial name
Cymbidium canaliculatum
R. Brown 1810

Cymbidium canaliculatum is a species of Cymbidium from Australia.


Plant blooms in the fall with many small 4 cm wide flowers. Flowers are fragrant. Flower color is extremely variable from green to black.[1]

This species was first described by R. Brown from a plant collected near Broad Sound, Queensland.[1] This species can be distinguished from other Australian species by it's characteristic leaves, densely crowded scapes, and by its two distinct parallel callus ridges on the lip.[1]

This species is drought tolerant due to its thick leathery leaves which use Crassulacian Acid Metabolism.[1]

In 1934 Rupp divided the species into three varieties canaliculatum, sparkesii, and marginatum.[1] Cymbidium canaliculatum var canaliculatum has green to bright yellow green sepals and petals with red spots and brown blotches.[1] There is also an forma aureolum which only has bright yellow green petals and sepals.[1] These varieties are found in New South Wales and southern Queensland.[1]

Cymbidium canaliculatum var marginatum are plants with a uniform brown or reddish flower with a pale green margin.[1] There are two formas to this variety forma fuscatum, which has brown sepals and petals, and forma purpuracens which is bright or dark magenta.[1] This variety is found in northern Queensland and Cape York.[1]

Cymbidium canaliculatum var sparkesii has dark red near almost black flowers.[1] It was previously described by Rendel in 898 as a separate species but later reduced to an variety of Cymbidium canaliculatum by Baily.[1] This variety is found in northern Queensland.[1]

In 1942 Nicholls describes a new variety variety barrettii which has greenish yellow sepals and petals with some red spots but no brown markings.[1]


Plant is found growing in branches of Eucalyptus and Melaleuca trees, rotting wood of hollow tree trunks and fallen branches in Northern Territories, Western Australia, Cape York, Queensland and New South Wales at elevations of 0 to 1000 meters[1]


Plant should be grown in cool to warm 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. The plant can tolerate high temperatures up to 35°C (95°F) and freezing winter night temperatures.[1]


Cymbidium canaliculatum purpurascens 'Cinnabar' Cymbidium canaliculatum var purpurascens 'Cinnabar' Sepals and petals are green with brown patches, lip is cream with several red spots
Cymbidium canaliculatum sparkesii Cymbidium canaliculatum var sparkesii Sepals and petals are dark brownish purple, lip is white with a red edge
Cymbidium canaliculatum Cymbidium canaliculatum variant Sepals and petals are dark brownish purple, lip is white with a pink spots
Cym canaliculatum Cymbidium canaliculatum variant Sepals and petals are dark brownish purple, lip is white with a red spots


Common Name:The Small Grooved Leaf Cymbidium


  1. Cymbidium hillii F. Mueller 1879
  2. Cymbidium sparkesii Rendle 1898


  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 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Cribb, Phillip, and David Du Puy (1988). The Genus Cymbidium (Timber Press). 

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