When Andy Easton created Cymbidium Kusuda Shining he hit on a line of breeding that would start a whole new group of truly beautiful plants. Not only are the colours stunning most of the offspring have a degree of heat tolerance that allows them to be grown in areas not normally conducive to growing Cymbidium. Oh, did I mention that the offspring of C. Kusuda Shining can have multiple spikes per bulb and can flower several times a year?
The C. Kusuda Shining to make it in the bigtime early on was the clone named 'Geyserland'. It was not the only good-looking plant to come out of the original seed pod! Several other stunners including the clone 'Brick' and 'VE Day'. You can see all of the above clones on the Everglades Orchids website.
Interestingly, Andy did not stop with selections from the original pod! He crossed siblings to see what would result. The chance for albinos was fairly high as one of the parents of Kusuda Shining is the famous albino C. Golden Elf 'Sundust'. While I am not sure what happened with some of the sibling crosses I was lucky enough to procure a large number of seedlings of one of the sibling crosses. Below is one of the seedlings from the cross between C. Kusuda Shining #1 x #5. My friend and I have named it C. Kusuda Shining 'Bullseye'. The colour is extremely bright and the contrast between the bright yellow petals and the red lip is particularly striking.
Crosses with C. Kusuda Shining are making a big impact in the Cymbidium world. A friend of mine who runs a commercial orchid nursery obtained a series of these crosses from Andy Easton. These came as densely packed flasks and were promptly transfered to community pots. After several months he transplanted the faster growing ones to individual pots and reset the 'runts' in community pots to grow on until they got a bit bigger. After another few months the process was repeated. As my friends priority is to get the plants to flowering as soon as possible his interest wanes when plants are too slow growing. Luckily for me I am in no great hurry and have enough space and time to grow these second run runts on until they flower. If they turn out to be good the plants get divided and my friend and I get half each.
Cymbidium Beverly Cobb is a beautiful cross between C. Kusuda Shining and Lovely Bunny. This cross seems to have been made several times. The specific cross that I have seedling of is C.Kusuda Shining 'VE Day' and Lovely Bunny 'Othello'. I have probably flowered about 20 or so seedlings of this cross so far, many of them pretty and worthwhile as pot plants but not real standouts. Below are two that have really taken my fancy. The one is just a stunning orange with red spots and a great dark lip with heavy very dark red spots. The other is a tannish-yellowish colour in the centre of the petals darkening to pinkish-red on the edges with a good clear lip. this last one is particularly interesting as the petals have an almost translucent quality. The picture is not backlit. Would be glad to hear what you think.
I have another series of hybrids using C. Kusuda Shining as a parent but will save them for the next post!