Vanda dearei

Vanda dearei

Vanda coerulea

Vanda coerulea

Pronunciation: VAN-duh

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily: Epidendroideae
  • Tribe: Vandeae
  • Subtribe: Aeridinae
  • Genus: Vanda, Jones 1820

General Characteristics

  • epiphytic
  • monopodial
  • cylindrical, or ovoid leaves

Vandas are mostly epiphytic, but sometimes lithophytic or terrestrial orchids, and are distributed in India, Himalaya, South East Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, southern China and northern Australia.

The genus has a monopodial growth habit with leaves that are highly variable according to habitat. Some have flat, typically broad, ovoid leaves (strap-leaves), while others have cylindrical (terete), fleshy leaves and are adapted to dry periods. The stems of these orchids vary considerably in size; there are miniature plants and plants with a length of several meters.

There are few to many flattened flowers growing on a lateral inflorescence. Most show a yellow-brown color with brown markings, but they also appear in white, green, orange, red and burgundy shades. The lip has a small spur. Vandas usually bloom every few months and the flowers last for two to three weeks.

This genus is one of the five most horticulturally important orchid genera, because it has some of the most magnificent flowers to be found in the entire orchid family. This has contributed much to the work of hybridists producing flowers for the cut flower market. Vanda coerulea is one of the few botanical orchids with blue flowers, a property much appreciated for producing interspecific and intergeneric hybrids. Vanda dearei is one of the chief sources of yellow color in Vanda hybrids.

Many Vanda orchids (especially Vanda coerulea) are endangered, because of habitat destruction. The export of wild-collected specimens of the Blue Orchid (Vanda coerulea) and other wild Vandas is prohibited worldwide, as all orchids are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.


  • Temperature: Most are warm-growing; some species from moderate elevations (e.g. V. coerulea)are intermediate growers.
  • Light: Bright light.
  • Water & Humidity: Daily watering if in baskets.
  • Fertilizer: Balanced formula weekly when in growth.
  • Potting: Usually in baskets with little or no medium. Pots are acceptable. Plants should be disturbed as infrequently as possible.


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