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Cymbidium hookerianum

The large-flowered Cymbidium hookerianum was named in honour of Sir Joseph Hooker, the second Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Flower of Cymbidium hookerianum

Cymbidium hookerianum in cultivation

Species information

Scientific name: 

Cymbidium hookerianum Rchb.f.

Common name: 


Conservation status: 

Vulnerable (VU A1cd) according to IUCN Red List criteria. Listed in Appendix II of CITES.


As an epiphyte on trees in damp, shady forests or on steep banks or rocks, often where thick moss cover occurs.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental. Cultivated by orchid enthusiasts.

Known hazards: 

None known.


Genus: Cymbidium

About this species

Cymbidium hookerianum was first described in 1851 under the name C. grandiflorum, based on a specimen collected in 1848 in Bhutan by William Griffith (a botanist from Ham in Surrey) while serving with a British diplomatic mission. Unfortunately the name C. grandiflorum had previously been used for a distinct species now placed in Pogonia. The next available and legitimate name for the species was C. hookerianum, based on living material collected by the British botanist Thomas Lobb in the early 1850s.

This material flowered soon after its introduction to the nursery of Messrs James Veitch & Sons. It did not flower again until 1866, when the German orchidologist Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach described it, naming it in honour of Sir Joseph Hooker, the second Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The same plant was the subject of an illustration in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine in 1866.


Cymbidium grandiflorum, Cyperorchis grandiflora


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