Sander's Cymbidium (Cymbidium sanderae)

Common names:
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Botanical names:
Cymbidium sanderae Accepted
Cymbidium parishii var. sanderae Synonym

Also sold as:
Cymbidium parishii 'Sanderae'

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Leaves: Evergreen
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Other: Labellum features large, dark red blotches.
Flower Time: Winter
Underground structures: Bulb
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Will not come true from seed
Other info: Seeds require a specialised medium, as they do not contain their own food source.
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Containers: Needs repotting every 2 to 3 years
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Awards and Recognitions: Other: FCC/AOS

Cym. parishii 'Sanderae' (left) and the 4N conversion, Cym. sande

Photo gallery:
Cym. parishii 'Sanderae' (left) and the 4N conversion, Cym. sande
By Australis
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Posted by Australis (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Zone 10b) on Mar 8, 2017 10:21 PM

Cym. sanderae and Cym. parishii are a bit of a complicated mess. Cym. sanderae, best-known as Cym. parishii 'Sanderae' and sometimes sold as Cymbidium parishii var. sanderae, is a single, unique clone, demonstrated by Andy Easton of New Horizon Orchids to be a hybrid and not an example of a species (he selfed both the 2N and 4N forms and got considerable variation in the seedlings, often with green blooms). He regards it as a naturally-occurring hybrid of Ivory-Colored Cymbidium (Cymbidium eburneum) and some as-yet unidentified other species and discusses the matter at length in a few posts on the New Horizon Orchid forums (which are reproduced in the book Cymbidium Orchids: Secrets Revealed by Graham & Sue Guest with Andy Easton).

The original Orchid (Cymbidium parishii) is sometimes said to be lost to cultivation. Often it is incorrectly sold as Cym. sanderae. A distinguishing feature is thought to be that these plants typically produce flower spikes from within the leaf axils, whereas the true Cym. sanderae produces both axillary and basal spikes. Cym. sanderae also produces 10-15 blooms per spike, whereas the imposters only produce 3 or 4.

The status of Cym. sanderae itself is also highly debated. The only example used in hybridising is the aforementioned single clone also known as Cym. parishii 'Sanderae'. For a time hybrids were registered as having Cym. parishii as the parent; now, the RHS has changed this to Cym. sanderae (they additionally informed me that up until 2001 parishii and sanderae were not considered distinct). Unfortunately Andy Easton rejects the reclassification and continues to register hybrids made with 'Sanderae' or 'Emma Menninger' as Cym. parishii, rather than Cym. sanderae, which will undoubtedly lead to confusion in future.

The plant known as Cym. parishii 'Emma Menninger' or Cym. sanderae 'Emma Menninger' (see Orchid (Cymbidium sanderae 'Emma Menninger')) is the tetraploid conversion of Cym. parishii 'Sanderae'.

Cym. sanderae, whilst self-fertile, does exhibit a level of self-incompatibility in that it does not produce a full pod of seed (Greig Russell, 2003). This is interesting since Cym. eburneum, thought to be one of the parents, is highly self-fertile; the incompatibility must come from the other parent, which likely precludes certain species due to their self-fertile nature as well.

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Posted by Australis (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Zone 10b) on Apr 1, 2018 1:21 AM

My personal experience with this plant is that it is a slow grower. The nursery I purchased it from also made a similar comment. Another hybrid I own (of which the genetic makeup is 75% sanderae) is also a slow grower.

Both plants suffer leaf tip spotting and dieback issues, even with Melbourne water (which seems to be good enough to reduce the leaf tip issues with iridioides and tracyanum to a manageable level). I suspect this is from the Ivory-Colored Cymbidium (Cymbidium eburneum) heritage in sanderae.

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Plant Events from our members
Australis On September 25, 2017 Potted up
Australis On September 25, 2017 Obtained plant
Purchased from Springfield Orchids.
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