Australian Tropical Rainforest Orchids

Vanda hindsii

Native Strap Orchid

Vanda hindsii Lindl., London J. Bot. 2: 237 (1843). Type: New Guinea, Hind s.n. (holo K-LINDL).

Vanda truncata J.J.Sm., Bull. Dept. Agric. Indie. Neérl. 14: 38 (1908). Type: cult. Bogor ex New Guinea, [Anon] (holo L).

Vanda whiteana D.Herbert & S.T.Blake, Queensland Naturalist 14: 57-60, f. (1951). Type: Cook District, near Coen, 4 Nov.1950, L.J. Wassell s.n. (holo BRI).


Occurs far north-eastern Queensland in the Carron Valley, on Iron Range and McIlwraith Range, and on Cape Melville.

Altitude: 300-600 m.

Also occurs in Indonesia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.


Epiphytic or lithophytic herb forming large coarse clumps. Roots thick, cord-like, white. Stems erect to semi-erect, 50-100 cm long, thick, fibrous, branching from base. Leaves crowded, scattered along stem, protrate to pendulous, distichous, alternate, sessile, bases sheathing stem, imbricate; lamina lorate, 20-40 cm x 3-4 cm, dark green to yellowish green, curved, thick, leathery, apex narrowly unequally emarginate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, 100-200 mm long, stiff; pedicels 2-3 mm long. Flowers 3-7, resupinate, porrect, round, 30-35 mm x 30-35 mm, with varnished appearance, brown with greenish to yellow margins and prominent white column. Sepals and petals widely spreading, spathulate, base narrowed, margins undulate. Dorsal sepal erect, 14-16 mm x 8-10 mm. Lateral sepals free, divergent, 14-16 mm x 8-10 mm. Petals spreading, 14-16 mm x 7-9 mm. Labellum porrect, 12-14 mm x 7-8 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes crescent-shaped, 3 mm x 2 mm; midlobe 7 mm x 4 mm, base narrowed, with spur 4 mm long, apex emarginate. Column 9 mm, hollow through much of length. Column foot absent. Capsules porrect, dehiscent.


Occurs in humid rainforests, often on slopes near streams where it grows on rocks and trees. It is frequently seen high up in large trees with the thick white roots growing down the trunk and sometimes grows in full sun on large boulders and rock outcrops. It is one of Australia's largest epiphytes.

Highly localised.

Flowering period: mainly November-March.

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