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the vandCEOUS ALLIANCE
Vanda is a genus in the orchid family (Orchidaceae) which, although
not large (about fifty species), is one of the most important florally.
This genus and its allies are considered to be the most highly
evolved of all orchids within Orchidaceae. The genus is very highly
prized in horticulture for its showy, fragrant, long lasting, and intensely
colourful flowers. Vanda is widespread across East Asia, Southeast
Asia, and New Guinea, with a few species extending into Queensland and some of the islands of the western Pacific.
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, Himalayas, 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. The plants can become quite massive in habitat and in cultivation, and epiphytic species possess very large, rambling aerial root systems.
There are few to many flattened flowers growing on a lateral inflorescence. Most show a yellow-brown colour 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.
Many Vanda orchids (especially Vanda coerulea) are endangered, and have never been common because they are usually only infrequently encountered in habitat and grows only in disturbed forest areas with high light levels, and are severely threatened and vulnerable to 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.
Link to the full article here
Vanda Orchids, being tropical & sub-tropical in origin, like warm temperatures and high humidity and good air movement. They can be grown in wooden baskets, with most thriving in bright, humid, and warm to intermediate conditions. They they like bright filtered light, not direct sun as this will burn the foliage.
Use a coarse grade of pine bark as the potting medium. The thick roots will often venture outside the confines of the pot or basket, and this culture is to be encouraged as the roots require unimpeded air circulation and must dry out quickly after watering. During the warmer months they require liberal watering; reduce this over winter. These plants are mostly frost tender so they grow well in the warmer parts of Australia.
Propagation is generally from cuttings, but new hybrids & cultivars are being produced all the time.
Tips to remember foe Vandas. The best fertilizing programme in the world will not compensate for poor growing conditions. When Vandaceous orchids are poorly grown or carelessly handled, they will fall victim to insects & disease, however with reasonable attention given to their basic needs, their troubles will be few.
Here are further links to articles & forums on growing Vanda.
Vandaceous Alliance (QOS website)
Vanda Orchid Care Video by John R King Jnr. YouTube.com
The Blue Orchid
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)
Photo showing Vandas habit of prolific, thick epiphytic roots outside the pot or basket
(Photo credit: gardenseeker.com)
Prolific yellow Vanda
(Photo credit: MartyzWonderland.