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Spoon-Leaf Vanda   
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Spoon-Leaf Vanda
P Native
Photo: P. Samydurai
Common name: Spoon-Leaf Vanda, Spathulate Vanda • Malayalam: Ponnampu-maravara
Botanical name: Vanda spathulata    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Epidendrum spathulatum, Taprobanea spathulata, Aerides maculata

Spoon-Leaf Vanda is an orchid found growing on trees in South India. It prefers to grow on small trees and bushes in open sun. Leaves occur in 2-ranks, up to 6 x 1.5 cm, oblong or spoon-shaped, 2-lobed at tip, leathery, base sheathing, stalkless. Flowers are borne in leaf opposed racemes with 6-8 flowers. Flowers are yellow, 4 cm across. Sepals are 2.5 cm, obovate, narrowed to the base. Petals are more or less similar to the sepals. Lip is 3-lobed, spur up to 0.5 cm. Column is up to 1 cm. Spoon-Leaf Vanda is found in South India and Sri Lanka. In India It is found in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Flowering: September-January.
Medicinal uses: Spoon-Leaf Vanda is also used in folk and Ayurvedic medicine, dried flowers are powdered and the juice is used for a variety of illnesses such as asthma and depression. It is thought it may have some memory enhancing properties and its antioxidant activity has been investigated.

Identification credit: S. Jeevith Photographed at Madukkarai Hills, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

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