THE COLLECTION

The McBean’s Collection lies at the very foundation of the nursery, consisting mostly of unique Oncidiums and Cymbidiums orchids, both priceless and an irreplaceable piece of horticultural history. Some of the plants have been with us for over 100 years, winning many medals worldwide and coveted by collectors. We are always striving for the perfect orchid.

Although the Collection plants are rarely for sale, feel free to inquire further about purchasing or exhibiting our prize orchids.

For more information, why not visit our nursery shop 10am to 4pm from Monday to Friday or look out for our next Saturday open day via the events page.

Oncidium Alexandrae

(Odontoglossum crispum)

Alexandrae’s traditional large white flowers.

Discovered by Theodor Hartweg in the Columbian Andes between 1841 & 1842 while on a plant collecting trip for the ‘Horticultural Society of London’. Later thousands of these orchids were imported into Europe, including some UK nurseries, Low & Co and Charlesworth (later also McBeans).

These nurseries exchanged plants and started hybridising programs, which resulted in many new varieties to sell, some for huge sums of money.

In 1971 the Charlesworth nursery was incorporated into McBeans, giving a further boost to our collection. McBeans have been direct breeding Onc. Alexandrae plants since the company established in 1879, and the plants have been sent all around the world and are still in great demand.

Oncidium Alexandrae has been used in many royal bouquets and floral arrangements over the years. We bred Onc. Alexandrae ‘Diamond Jubilee’ which was presented to HRH Queen Elizabeth, and we still look after, and latterly have put in the Royal box at Ascot during the Royal meeting.

The highest accolade for Oncidium Alexandrae was the variety ‘Barcombe’, which won the ‘best Oncidium award’ at the Singapore World Orchid Show.

Cymbidium Princess Charlotte

Princess Charlotte is one of our most popular Cymbidium orchids. This hybrid was first bred in 2001 which consequently first flowered in 2006. It is a cross between Cymbidium erythraeum and Cymbidium Berwick.

 Cymbidium erythraeum is a miniature species from the Indo-China region. Its small understated flower has beautiful green and red markings and the flower spikes are very tall. Cymbidium Berwick is a classic Cymbidium hybrid first bred in the 1940’s. It is seen as a classic and iconic Cymbidium.

This hybrid is a vigorous grower flowering a year earlier than expected and has been known to put up 8 flower spikes from a 2L pot!

Cymbidium Princess Charlotte comes in many different shades ranging from burgundy, brown to pales and bright pinks. It was named after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s second child, Princess Charlotte.

Oncidium Keighleyensis

Oncidium Keighleyensis is a very old cross between and species and a primary hybrid (Amabie x Alexandrae). It was registered in 1910 but we suspect the cross was made pre 1900! It has tiny small red-pink-orange flowers and makes for a very easy plant to grow and re-flower. This plant has never been remade so all our Keighleyensis plants are divisions of original plant which is over a 100 years old.

Classic Cymbidiums

Cymbidium Clauboda “Sydney Rothwell”

This orchid was registered in 1963 and was awarded an AM by the RHS. It is named after a former manager of McBean’s. He was manager during 1940’s-1960’s.

Cymbidium Astronaut “Rajah” 

This orchid was first registered in 1961 and is a cross between Cymbidium Pixie and Cymbidium Balkis. It was awarded an FCC by the RHS. It is an iconic McBean’s Cymbidium with an amazing lip. 

Cymbidium Pearl Balkis “Plumpton” 

This orchid was first registered in 1962. It is a cross between Cymbidium Pearl Easter and Cymbidium Balkis. It comes from a long and famous breeding line. 

Cymbidium Highland Hill “Cooksbridge Rajah” 

This orchid was first registered in 1992 and was awarded an AM by the RHS. This is a great, old favourite among Cymbidium collectors. The bronzy colour with a velvety looking lip is very popular. 

Cymbidium Gymer “Cooksbridge” 

This orchid is a famous McBean’s yellow. It was first registered in 1968 and is a later flowering Cymbidium that usually goes to Chelsea Flower Show, which is held in May. It was awarded an AM by the RHS. This orchid can become a very big plant and have 10+ flower spikes!

Cymbidium Highland Lassie “Jersey” 

This orchid was first registered in 1982 and is a cross between Cymbidium Musita and Cymbidium Hamsey. It is an unusual shade of pink and has a suffused lip. 

Cymbidium Loch Leven “Brickyards” 

This orchid was first registered in 1997 and is a cross between Cymbidium Loch Moor and Cymbidium Red Beauty. It is an unusual brick-red colour. 

Cymbidium Holy Loch “Hot Lips”

This orchid is stunning. It was first registered in 2007 and is a cross between Cymbidium Loch Creran and Cymbidium Howick. The sleek light pink with that contrasting lip makes it such a fantastic flower!  

Cymbidium Loch Tingwall “The Punk” 

First registered in 2014 (although not an oldie but from a long line of breeding), it is a cross between Cymbidium Highland Hill and Cymbidium Pontac. Notes from Jim: “What a lip!!”