There are 11 species and they are sometimes still seen under the genus names
of Vanda, Aerides and Dendrobium.
Species often grown are P. hookeriana, P. teres and P. vandarum.
A common hybrid is Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’ – a hybrid of P. teres and P. hookeriana.
Plants can be epiphytic or terrestrial and form large masses.
They are monopodial with thin, round stems.
Stems are mostly erect but can be drooping and sometimes branch.
Stems have many nodes from which the alternately arranged leaves arise.
Pencil-like (terete), fleshy leaves up to 20 cm long can be straight or curved backwards.
Leaves have a groove down the side and their bases sheath the stem.
Aerial roots grow from the nodes.
Inflorescences, up to 30 cm long, grow from the nodes opposite the leaves.
There can be from one to 20 flowers that are up to 10 cm wide.
They come in combinations of white and purple.
Perianth segments are free and spread outwards.
The petals are usually larger than the sepals.
The 3-lobed lip is attached to the column foot and there is a variously shaped spur.
The lateral lobes can be upright or curved over the column.
The mid-lobe, often large, divides into 2 or 3 lobes.
The column has a long, thin rostellum.
There are 2 waxy, slightly grooved pollinia attached by a stalk to the large viscidium.