Vanda hindsii (Native Strap Orchid)

Scientific Name

Vanda hindsii Lindl.

Common Names

Native Strap Orchid, Cape York Vanda

Synonyms

Vanda truncata, Vanda whiteana

Scientific Classification

Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Vandeae
Subtribe: Aeridinae
Genus: Vanda

Flower

Color: Brown with greenish to yellowish markings
Bloom Time: November to March

Description

Vanda hindsii is a large epiphytic or lithophytic orchid that forms large, coarse clumps with thick, white, cord-like roots and up to 3.3 feet (1m) long, branching stems. It has many thick, leathery, glossy, strap-like leaves arranged in 2 ranks along the stems. The leaves are up to 16 inches (40 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide. Between 3 and 7 brown, resupinate flowers with greenish to yellowish markings, up to 1.4 inches 3.5 cm) long and wide, are arranged on a stiff, up to 8 inches (20 cm) long flowering stem. Flowering mainly occurs from November to March.

Vanda hindsii (Native Strap Orchid)
Photo via orchidsnewguinea.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 11a to 12b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 60 °F (15.6 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Vandas are grown in teak baskets or pots. For most household conditions, pots are best because they hold more moisture around the roots. Plants in pots should be watered just as the medium dries out, approximately every 5 to 7 days for larger clay pots. It is best to use the rain, distilled, or reverse osmosis water.

Most Vandas grow on treetops on ridges along rivers and prefer bright light. When growing indoors, a south window exposure is best. Vandas can be grown outside in the summer (or all year long, depending on where you live) as long as the night temperatures are 50 °F (10 °C) or above. Grow under dappled sunlight, such as a shade tree or an evergreen. Gradually they can be exposed to brighter light.

If provided enough humidity, Vandas can be grown without any potting medium whatsoever. They will often be shipped from overseas where they have been grown in high humidity environments, therefore being grown bare root in the basket. The ideal household does not provide enough humidity to keep Vandas growing well in bare-root conditions. See more at How to Grow and Care for Vanda Orchids.

Origin

Vanda hindsii occurs in New Guinea and tropical North Queensland.

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