(pronounced: pap-ill-ee-oh-NAN-thee)


Vandeae subtribe Aeridinae

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Scrambling epiphytes rooting at the nodes. Roots apophototrophic. Leaves terete, alternate, distichous, appearing spiralled. Inflorescences scapose racemes from the upper stem nodes, few-flowered. Flowers showy. Sepals and petals free, spreading. Lip three-lobed, often with ancillary lobules, saccate-spurred, flexibly continuous with the column foot, with a small central callus of two parallel keels. Column short, stout; pollinia 2, sulcate, on a linear-oblong stipe and a viscidium.


A genus of 10 species ranging from Sri Lanka and South India to Sulawesi. Papilionanthe species and hybrids are the terete-leaved “Vandas” of tropical horticulture. The hybrid “Vanda” Miss Agnes Joaquim (P. hookeriana x P. teres) is the national flower of

Care and Culture Card

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Averyanov, L. V. and E. A. Christenson 1998. Orchids of Vietnam: Papilionanthe pedunculata. Orchids 67(2):148-149.

Christenson, E. A. 1994. Sarcanthine genera 15: Papilionanthe Schltr. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 63(12):1374-1377.

Motes, M. 1998. Cultivating Papilionanthes. Orchids 67(2):150-151.

Sheehan, T. and M. Sheehan 1998. Orchid genera illustrated 180: Papilionanthe. Orchids 67(1):46-47.