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 Vanda Miss Joaquim
  The national flower of Singapore, and her family


Vanda Miss Joaquim 'Agnes'
National Flower of Singapore

The Legend
One early morning in 1893, a Singapore-born Armenian lady, Miss Agnes Joaquim, was loitering alone in her garden. She chanced upon a new orchid flower nestled in a clump of bamboo. Its lacerated lips and delicate mauve petals made it stand out from other Vandas in her garden. As a horticulturist, Miss Joaquim knew that it could be a new species. She took it to the Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Henry Ridley. Indeed, it was found to be a new orchid - a hybrid between Vanda hookerana and Vanda teres. It was also the world's first known natural orchid hybrid. the orchid was then named after her. 

Vanda Miss Joaquim claimed the prize for being the rarest orchid in the 1899 Flower Show.

It came to shine again in 1981 when it was chosen as national flower. Born and bred in Singapore, its long association and economic contribution to Singapore has made Vanda Miss Joaquim truly deserving of this honour.

In March 2016, Vanda Miss Joaquim was, however, officially recognized as an artificial hybrid bred by Miss Joaquim.

The Genus: Papilionanthe (abbreviated Ple.)

Vanda Miss Joaquim is in a group of vandas characterized by its distinctive cylindrical terete leaves (like a pencil) and, supported by its aerial roots,  climbing growth habit. This group of vandas was separated from the genus Vanda in 1980's and regrouped under a new genus, Papilionanthe. However, horticulturally, terete vandas are still considered to be vandas.

Terete leave

Aerial roots

Climbing growth habit

The Parentage

Seed parent: Papilionanthe teres, also known as Vanda teres. Found in most part of Mainland SEA.

Pollen parent: Papilionanthe hookeriana, more commonly known as Vanda hookeriana. Because it inhabits the swampy country in the Kinta Valley of Perak (Malay Peninsula), it is also known as "the Kinta Weed".


Papilionanthe teres

Papilionanthe hookeriana

Cultivars of Vanda Miss Joaquim
Encouraged by the success of Vanda Miss Joaquim, many breeders repeated the same crossing and produced many remarkable cultivars such as Vanda Miss Joaquim 'Douglas' and Vanda Miss Joaquim 'Josephine'.


Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim 'Josephine'
Ple. hookeriana x Ple. teres

Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim 'Douglas'
Ple. teres x Ple. hookeriana

Papilionanthe Miss Joaquim 'John Laycock'
Ple. teres 'alba' x ple. hookeriana 'alba'
Hybrids related to Vanda Miss Joaquim

Reg'd: 1903
Papilionanthe Marguerite Maron
Ple. teres x V. suavis
Reg'd: 1948
Papilionanthe Poepoe 'Diana'
Ple. teres 'alba' x V. White Wing
Reg'd: 2018
Papilionanthe Mandai Gardens
Ple. Tricuspidata x Ple. teres
Reg'd: 1940
Papilionanthe Amy
Ple. hookeriana x Ple. tricuspidata
Reg'd: 2020
Papilisia Elody Pang Hsien Teng
Papi Lutifa Zahran x Ple. hookeriana
Reg'd: 1944
Papilionanthe Eva Summer
V. luzonica x Ple. Miss Joaquim

Vanda MME Dinger 'Profusion'
V. tricolor x Ple. Miss Joaquim
Reg'd: 2013
Papilionanthe Noora Alsagoff
Ple. Miss Joaquim x Ple. pedunculata
Reg'd: 1948
Papilionanda John Clubb
Ple. Cooperi x Ple. Tesselata
[Ple. hookeriana: 37.5%, Ple. teres: 12.5%]
Reg'd: 1951
Papilionanthe Ruby Prince
Ple. Ruby x Ple. Cooperi
[Ple. hookeriana: 62.5%, Ple. teres: 12.5%]
Reg'd: 1950
Papilionanthe Prolific
Ple. Nam Kee x Ple. Alan Hirano
[Ple. hookeriana: 50%, Ple. teres: 37.5%]
Reg'd: 1952
Papilionanda Tan Chay Yan
V. Dearei x Pda. Josephine Van Brero
[Ple. teres: 25%]
Reg'd: 1958
Papilionanda TMA
Pda. Josephine Van Brero x V. sanderiana
[Ple. teres: 25%]
Reg'd: 1954
Papilionanthe Roberta Chun
Ple Madame Dinger x V. sanderiana
[Ple. hookeriana: 12.5%, Ple. teres: 12.5%]

Parents of Ple. Miss Joaquim's related hybrids

Vanda Dearei

Vanda tricolor

Vanda luzonica