The McBean’s Collection lies at the very foundation of the nursery, consisting mostly of unique Oncidiums and Cymbidiums orchids, this is both priceless and an irreplaceable piece of horticultural history that we also consider a living art collection. Some of the plants have been with us for over 100 years, winning many medals worldwide and coveted by collectors.

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

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

Oncidium Alexandrae has been used in many royal bouquets and floral arrangements over the years, including HRH Queen Elizabeth II wedding bouquet. We also bred Onc.Alexandrae ‘Diamond Jubilee’ which was presented to Her Majesty, and we still look after.

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 two species: Oncidium noezlianum and Oncidium cirrhosum. It was registered in 1908 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 the original plant which is over 100 years old and can be found trying to take over the nursery!