The Vanda Miss Joaqium is Singapore’s national flower. It was chosen in April 1981 for its vibrant colour, hardiness and resilience – qualities which embody the ideal of the Singapore spirit.
There is some excitement to the story of this first Vanda hybrid. There was doubt cast on Agnes Joaquim for crossing Vanda Hookeriana and Vanda Teres, two orchids commonly cultivated in gardens in Singapore in the late 19th century. It was speculated by some that she merely discovered the hybrid in her garden. After numerous investigations, the National Heritage Board and the Singapore Botanic Gardens amended their official records in 2016 to reflect credit to Miss Joaquim. This engaging encounter is found in an article called Blooming Lies: The Vanda Miss Joaquim Story.