Vanda Miss Joaquim, a hybrid orchid cultivar, is Singapore's national flower.
Vanda Miss Joaquim is a natural hybrid between Vanda teres and Vanda hookeriana.
It was first discovered in the garden of Agnes Joaquim in 1893, and thus its name
after Miss Joaquim. It was described in the same year by Henry N. Ridley, director
of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
On April 15, 1981, S. Dhanabalan, the then Minister for Culture, announced that Vanda
Miss Joaquim had been chosen as Singapore’s national flower. The ability of Vanda
Miss Joaquim's to bloom throughout the year was considered to symbolize Singapore's
continuous quest for progress and prosperity. The flower’s natural resilience reflected
well the determination of the Singaporean people to succeed despite tough times.
Vanda Miss Joaquim may carry up to 12 buds, usually with four flowers open at a time.
Each flower is about 5 cm across and 6 cm tall, and as is the case with its parents,
the petals are twisted around so that the back surface faces front. The two petals
and the top sepal are rosy-violet, and the lateral sepals are a pale mauve. The lip
is very large and broad and the middle lobe extends out like a fan. It is coloured
violet- rose, merging into a contrasting fiery orange at the centre. Over the orange
patch, the lip is finely spotted with dark purple spots.
Vanda Miss Joaquim requires full sunlight, free air movement, high humidity and heavy
fertilising to achieve optimum growth and flowering. It needs support to grow straight
and tall but it flowers only when the top of its stem rises above the support. It
is a robust, sun loving plant with slender stems best grown in beds against post