Skip to main content
This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & Subtropical Asia.

General Description

Coarse, epiphytic herbs. Stems ascending, enclosed by leafsheaths, with many nodes. Leaves linear-oblong to terete, coriaceous, distichous, apex bilobed, jointed and sheathing at base. Inflorescence racemose or paniculate, lateral, pendent, usually densely many-flowered. Flowers showy. Sepals and petals similar, broad, spreading; lateral sepals decurrent on column foot. Petals smaller than sepals. Labellum continuous with column foot, usually immobile, trilobed, spurred, side lobes decurrent on column, erect, midlobe often erose; spur narrowly conical or horn-shaped, bent forward, usually with swellings or calli inside. Column elongate, often broadened at apex, foot distinct; anther cap two-celled, beaked; pollinia waxy, two, subglobular, unequally cleft, attached by a long, slender stipe to a single, semicircular viscidium; rostellum well developed, bifid after removal of pollinia, porrect.


Schill and Pfeiffer (1977) examined pollen of A. fieldingii Lodd. ex E.Morren (=A. rosea Lodd. ex Lindl. & Paxton) and described tetrads as convex with laevigate sculpturing and a rounded sexine.


Aerides species are epiphytes or sometimes lithophytes, from 0 to 2000 m. Aerides krabiensis Seidenf. is found growing in full sun on dry limestone coastal rocks in Thailand. Aerides multiflora Roxb. is recorded as epiphytic on species of Dillenia L. (Dilleniaceae) and Fraxinus L. (Oleaceae) on river banks in Bhutan, on Mangifera indica Wall. (Anacardiaceae) trees in India, and in deciduous forest in Thailand. Aerides odorata often grows high in the branches of trees where it receives ample light; it is recorded from secondary subtropical forests in Bhutan, lithophytic in deciduous forests in Laos, epiphytic on Terminalia catappa L. (Combretaceae) in littoral vegetation in Kalimantan, and from lowland forests, hill forests, sometimes on ultramafic substrate, and lower montane forests in Sabah. Aerides ringens (Lindl.) C.E.C.Fisch. is known from moist semi-evergreen forest between the wet and dry zone and extending into tropical savannas in Sri Lanka.


There are about 20 species of Aerides distributed from Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, China, Thailand, Indochina, and Malaysia to the Philippines and Indonesia.


Aerides multiflora is used for ‘vahic’ disorders according to data label on material at Kew collected on Earthwatch Expedition 1983; Subedi et al. (2011) reported the use in Nepal of a powder made from A. multiflora as a tonic and of a paste made from the leaves of A. odorata as a poultice for wounds. In Indochina, fruits (seeds?) of A. odorata and A. falcata have been used to treat wounds and skin diseases (Lawler 1984). Species of Aerides are commonly cultivated.

Native to:

Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicobar Is., Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam, West Himalaya

Aerides Lour. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Kerr, A.D. [1225], Laos 32256.000

First published in Fl. Cochinch.: 525 (1790)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (1995). World Checklist of Seed Plants 1(1, 2): 1-483, 1-529. MIM, Deurne.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

All Rights Reserved

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.