Vanilla odorata C. Presl 1826 SUBGENUS Xanata SECTION Xanata

Photo by Ecuagenera and their Ecuador Orchid Website

Common Name The Odiferous Vanilla

Flower Size 5" [12.5 cm]

Found from Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Windward Islands, Fr Guiana, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and central Brazil in low cloud forests at elevations of 30 to 1100 meters as a large sized, hot to cool growing epiphyte with a thick, robust stem carrying, basally clasping, ovoid, acute, basally clasping leaves with a root that arises opposite the leaf axil and blooms in the summer on an axillary, short, few to several flowered inflorescence with successive opening flowers.

The fruit capsules from this species can retain their aromatic fragrance for years and are used much in the same way as commercial vanilla in South America.

"Vanilla odorata is widely distributed in continental tropical America, from Mexico to Bolivia. It is easily distinguished by its narrowly lanceolate, long acuminate leaves; although specimens grown in shaded spots may have broader leaves. Its fruits are strongly fragrant and are collected from wild plants in many areas of Latin America. It is occasionally grown in Oaxaca, Mexico, as source of vanilla fragrance. Vanilla denticulata seems to be conspecific with it, their vegetative and floral dimensions falling within the known range of V. odorata, although the lip of V. uncinata is slightly emarginate. Vanilla fimbriata is also very closely related but the flowers are smaller. However, better and more abundant material from Amazonia and the Guyanas is necessary to be compared carefully with specimens of V. odorata from other areas.” Soto Arenas 2010

Synonyms Vanilla denticulata Pabst 1972 publ. 1973;

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Flora Brasilica Vol XII II Hoehne 1945 as V ensifolia drawing ? plant only; Flora Brasilica Vol XII II Hoehne 1945 as V uncinata drawing hmm; Flora Brasilica Vol XII II Hoehne 1945 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 28 No 5 1959; Orchidaceae Brasilenses Band 1 Pabst & Dungs 1975 as V uncinata drawing fide; Orchidaceae Brasilenses Band 1 Pabst & Dungs 1975 as V dentuculata drawing fide;AOS Bulletin Vol 47 No 6 1978; Flora of Ecuador No 9 225[1] Garay 1978 drawing fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 353 Dodson 1980 drawing hmm; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 1193 Dodson 1984 drawing hmm; Orquídea (Méx.) 13(1-2): 295 - 300. 1993 drawing/photo fide; Harvard Pap. Bot. 5 #2: Carnevali etal. 2001; Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana Vol 7 Steyermark, Berry, Yatskievych and Holst 2003 drawing hmm; Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 5 Dodson 2004 drawing/photo fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 323-327, Soto Arenas 2010 Drawing fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010 as V denticulata; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010 as V uncinata; AOS Bulletin Vol 82 #2 2013 photo fide; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018; LANKESTERIANA 20(2): 67–216. Ossenbach & Jenny 2020