Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cym. tigrinum hybrids

Cym. tigrinum

Cym. tigrinum is attractive for having compact habit and flowering in late Spring. Most of my Cyms have finished blooming for the season, so the present flowers are from Cym. Eastern Bunny ‘Oborozuki’ and the tigrinum hybrids.

However, Cym. tigrinum can be a bit tricky to grow because it does not like the warm temps we get in the Summer. I almost killed it during my first Summer in this climate. Thankfully, I was able to nurse the pseudobulbs along to produce new growths, and the plant ultimately recovered. Now when the temps get above the 80’s (°F), I move it indoors to stay cooler.

During the Winter season, I do not water tigrinum and first generation tigrinum hybrids as often as the other Cyms because Andy Easton once stated in an online Cymbidium forum that tigrinum is prone to losing its roots at this time. Similarly, Marni Turkel wrote a nice description of tigrinum culture (“Orchids: The Bulletin of the American Orchid Society” December, 78(12):698-699, 2009) in which she mentions that in its native habitat, tigrinum receives less than ½ inch rain per month between December to March. Rather, the peak of the rainy season for tigrinum is between July and August. Kobsukh Kaenratana published a couple of nice pictures of Cym. tigrinum in situ in his book, “Heat Tolerant Cymbidiums for Tropical Climates” (pgs 190-193).

Cym. Hold That Tiger (Dag x tigrinum)

According to OrchidWiz, Cym. tigrinum yields about 4 flowers per inflorescence ("4 on 1") and Cym. Dag achieves about 19 on 1. One would then expect Hold That Tiger to yield about 9 on 1, the calculation being based upon the geometric mean (4 x 19=76; square root of 76=9). So, I was pleased to find that this clone yielded 15 on 1.

What also surprises me with this clone is that the lowianum lip margin (coming from Cym. Esmeralda in the Dag pedigree) is yellow rather than red, because you can see that anthocyanin is produced along the column and at the base of the tepals. And of course, tigrinum expresses spots all about the lip. Perhaps there are other Hold That Tiger clones that do, in fact, have red lip margins.

Cym. Sandy Tiger (sanderae x tigrinum)

I can’t admit that the flower shape and color of Sandy Tiger is especially attractive. Rather, I hope this will be a good parent for future hybrids, e.g. conferring warmth tolerance onto the cool-growing tigrinum background (Heat Tolerant Cymbidiums, pgs 242-243). I would like to see enhancement in the greening or yellowing of the tepals because I'm not a fan of the yellow-green tone seen in each of these flowers. Cym. tigrinum has a light, sweet fragrance, also present in Cym. Sandy Tiger, and I think it would be nice to include this floral trait in the hybridization program.