When I first saw a Vanda (now Papilionanda) Mimi Palmer many years ago, I was instantly enchanted by the beauty and fragrance of this orchid. Its brown tessellated petals, bright violet lip, and sweet intoxicating jasmine perfume, altogether created a most unforgettable first impression.
From that point, I’ve been on the lookout for brown-copper, pink-to-violet lipped Vandas, wildly assuming that any Vanda out there with these traits must sure smell good (how ignorant I was, of course – think yellow Vandas dearei and denisoniana).
Fast forward to today and while I didn’t quite find many vandas that fit those parameters, I did however, come across a few that ticked my checklist of V Mimi Palmer lookalikes.
Here are two from a recent show. The first is Vanda Small Boy Leong (a great name) which I later found out, is a primary hybrid between V. tricolor and V. limbata. Cute, attractive flowers, but nope, I didn’t smell it and can’t comment on its fragrance.
The second flower has fuller, spotted petals and is equally charming. I don’t have its ID, so if anyone could chime in on its name, I’d be much appreciated.
I’m sure there are other vandas out there that are just as sweetly scented. However, none would come close to evoking that same charm as V Mimi Palmer did when I first laid eyes on one.