Vanda W. Jones ex R. Br. 1820, is a genus in the orchid family (Orchidaceae) which, although not large (about fifty species), is one of the most important florally.
The name "Vanda" is derived from the Sanskrit name for the species Vanda tessellata.
These mostly epiphytic, but sometimes lithophytic or terrestrial orchids are distributed in India, Himalaya, SE 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 (actually a very bluish purple), a property much appreciated for producing interspecific and intergeneric hybrids. Vanda dearei is one of the chief sources of yellow color in Vanda hybrids.
Vanda Miss Joaquim is the National Flower of Singapore.
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.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia