Synonym(s) : Vanda coerulea f. delicata (Rolfe) Christenson; Vanda coerulea f. rogersii (Rolfe) Christenson; Vanda coerulea f. luwangalba Kishor
Species Name (as per The IPNI) : Vanda coerulea Griff. ex Lindl.
Common name : Blue Vanda, Autumn lady's tresses orchid
Vernacular name : Kwak lei (Manipuri); Lawhlei (Mizo); Vandara, Vandaka (Sanskrit)
Habit : Epiphyte
Habitat : Epiphytic, up to 1600m
Comments / notes : Pink and white forms also occur in nature - the white forms being the most pure white flowers found in the genus.
Key identification features : The striking blue flowers of Vanda coerulea are its most recognisable characteristic, with blue pigmentation only seen elsewhere in this genus in V. coerulescens , V. tessellata , and V. testacea .The leaves are leathery and strap-like and attached to prominent leaf sheaths (part of leaf stalk that covers and rises up from the stem). The flowers are around 13 cm across and notable for their small lip (labellum), approximately 2 cm in length, an unusual characteristic for this genus, shared only with the similarly pigmented, closely related, but much smaller flowered, V. coerulescens .The flower spikes of V. coerulea are occasionally branched, and bear more flowers than is usual in this genus (20-30 per plant, on multiple flower spikes). All characteristics plus the species' cold tolerance (due to the elevation of its native habitat) make it highly desirable to orchid hybridisers.
Flower, Fruit : July-September
Sikkim : Sikkim
Arunachal Pradesh : Arunachal Pradesh
Meghalaya : Meghalaya
Nagaland : Nagaland
Native : India, Bangladesh, China South-Central, East Himalaya, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand
Exotic/Native : Native
Literature : Singh S.K., Agrawala D.K., Jalal J.S., Dash S.S, Mao A.A. and Singh P. (2019). Orchids of India - A pictorial guide. Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata. 548 pp.:503