Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable as Vanda hindsii
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Vanda hindsii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008wq) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Vanda hindsii (Cape York Vanda) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2012ah) [Listing Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Policy Statements and Guidelines Draft survey guidelines for Australia's threatened orchids (Department of the Environment, 2013b) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Vanda hindsii.
State Listing Status
QLD: Listed as Vulnerable (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list) as Vanda hindsii
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Least Concern (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Vanda hindsii [4494]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Lindley
Infraspecies author  
Reference Hooker's London Journal of Botany 2 (1843) 237.
Other names Vanda whiteana [53479]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Vanda hindsii

Vanda hindsii was previously known in Australia as V. whiteana (Lavarack & Howcroft 1982).

Vanda hindsii is a large epiphytic or lithophytic orchid with long thick cord-like roots. The stems are up to 1 m long and branch from the base. The dark-green to yellowish-green strap-like leaves are thick, leathery and measure 20–40 cm long by 3–4 cm wide. The leaf tips are unequally notched. The racemes (inflorescence) are unbranched, measure 10–20 cm long and bear 3–7 flowers. The flowers are 30–25 mm wide, shiny brown (rarely yellow) in colour with greenish to yellow margins (Lavarack & Gray, 1992; Jones, 2006).

Vanda hindsii occurs from the Carron, Tozer and McIlwraith Ranges, Cape York Peninsula, north-east Queensland, between the Stewart and Pascoe Rivers and west to about Coen (Lavarack 1980, 1984b; Australian National Herbarium 2009; Queensland Herbarium 2009). It has been reported from Cape Melville (about 120 km east of McIlwraith Range) (Dockrill 1992), however, this extension of distribution is not supported by herbarium collections and thus cannot be confirmed (TSSC 2011bl).

Vanda hindsii is recorded from eight locations in Australia including Kennedy Hill, Olive River Reserve, Carron Range, Garraway Hill, Tozer Range, Tozer Gap ridges and rockpiles, Iron Range National Park (NP), Pascoe River crossing, Tozer Range, Capsize Creek (upper reaches), Tozer Range, Massey Creek, Kulla (McIlwraith Range) NP, Pandanus Creek, Kulla (McIlwraith Range) NP and Rocky Creek, Kulla (McIlwraith Range) NP (TSSC 2011bl).

Vanda hindsii's extent of occurrence is 2800 km2, excluding the Cape Melville record and any records with imprecise locality data. The area of occupancy is unknown (Queensland Herbarium 2009).

Vanda hindsii is also occurs in Papua New Guinea (Lavarack & Howcroft 1982) and the Solomon Islands (ATRO n.d.).

There have been a number of surveys in the rainforests of Cape York Peninsula (Iron, Tozers, Carron and McIlwraith Ranges), but Stanton and Fell (2005) note that only a small proportion of the region has been adequately surveyed.

Lavarack (1980) lists the species as widespread but uncommon.

Vanda hindsii grows in notophyll vine forest, rain forest margins, deciduous vine thicket and open forest (Lavarack 1977b, 1980, 1984b) on trees and granite rocks, often on slopes near streams, in humid but exposed situations, where it gets strong light (Dockrill 1992; Jones 2006), often below 300 m altitude (Lavarack 1980) or from 300–600 m altitude (Jones 2006).

Flowering can occur at any time throughout the year, but mostly from September to March (Lavarack 1977c; Dockrill 1992; Lavarack & Gray 1992; Jones 2006). The genus is insect-pollinated but the vectors are unknown (Jones 2006).

Vanda hindsii is vegetatively similar to Pomatocalpa marsupiale but has longer leaves that are more curved and have a narrow apical notch. The flowers of V. hindsii are much larger and are born on an unbranched inflorescence (Jones 1988; Dockrill 1992).

A known threat to Vanda hindsii is illegal collecting of plants in more accessible areas where the species has been heavily collected and depleted (Queensland Herbarium 2009). Collecting in more inaccessible areas may become an issue as site access improves (Lavarack 1980).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Vanda hindsii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008wq) [Conservation Advice].

Australian National Herbarium (2009). Specimen Information Register database. [Online]. Available from:

Australian Tropical Orchids (ATRO) (n.d.). Vanda hindsii Native Strap Orchid. Internet site.

Dockrill, A.W. (1992). Australian indigenous orchids, revised edition. Sydney, SGAP, NSW Region.

Jones, D.L. (1988). Native Orchids of Australia. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Reed.

Jones, D.L. (2006). A complete guide to Native Orchids of Australia, including the island Territories. Sydney, NSW: New Holland Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd.

Lavarack, P.S. (1977b). Project to study orchids of Cape York, Queensland. Qld Parks & Wildlife Service, Queensland.

Lavarack, P.S. (1977c). Orchids of the Iron Range Area. Brisbane: Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Lavarack, P.S. (1980). Cape York orchid project. Orchids of McIlwraith Range. Qld Parks & Wildlife Service, Queensland.

Lavarack, P.S. (1984b). Orchids of the Carron Valley area. Qld Parks & Wildlife Service, Queensland.

Lavarack, P.S. & B. Gray (1992). Australian Tropical Orchids. Melbourne: Firth & Firth Books.

Lavarack, P.S. & N.H.S. Howcroft (1982). Vanda hindsii Lindley in New Guinea and Australia. The Orchadian. 7(5):100-102.

Queensland Herbarium (2009). Specimen label information.

Stanton, J.P. & D. Fell (2005). The Rainforests of Cape York Peninsula. Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2008wq). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Vanda hindsii. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from:

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2011bl). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Vanda hindsii. Unpublished advice from the TSSC.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Vanda hindsii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Tue, 23 Sep 2014 05:07:41 +1000.