Vanilla planifolia Jacks. ex Andrews 1808 SUBGENUS Xanata TYPE For the Subgenus

Photo by © Richard Gautier and his Guadeloupe Orchid Page

Fragrance Part shadeWarm to Hot Winter Spring Summer Fall

Common Name Commercial Vanilla - The Flat Plane Leafed Vanilla

Flower Size 2 1/2" [6 cm]

Found in Florida, the West Indies, Central America and northern South America in tropical wet forests at lower elevations as a large sized, warm to hot growing, scandent epiphyte with a green, terete, fleshy, branching stem carrying numerous, fleshy, elliptic-oblong or ovate-elliptic, acute to subacuminate, gradually narrowing below into the basally clasping leaves spaced at intervals all along the stem that blooms on short 2" to 2 3/4" [5 to 7 cm] long, axillary, subsessile, racemose, several [to 20] flowered inflorescence that has broadly ovate-triangular, acute bracts and has the fleshy, fragrant, short-lived flowers opening in succession occuring throughout the year if well grown and it's seedpods are used to produce the essence of Vanilla. This species is often found in conjunction with ants and may benefit from their presence.

This species is the cultivated source of the vanilla essence. Its natural range probably ran from Central Veracruz in Mexico to Costa Rica or Panama, but it is now found in many tropical areas as an escape. All the material we have seen from Africa, the West Indies, South America (including Ecuador), and most of Costa Rica and Panama, is indistinguishable from the cv. “Mansa” from Veracruz, and different from wild specimens from Chiapas, Belize and Honduras which have characteristically broad, elliptic leaves. We have not examined the syntypes of V. duckei Huber, but follow Hoehne (1954) who considered it a synonym of V. planifolia. The material of V. carinata Rolfe is very inadequate, and we are not completely sure that it is conspecific with V. planifolia or V gardneri. This species has several allies with which it can be confused, particularly V. hartii, V. insignis, and V. odorata(see comments under those species)."

Synonyms Myrobroma fragrans Salisb. 1807; Notylia planifolia (Jacks. ex Andrews) Conz. 1947; Notylia sativa (Schiede) Conz. 1947; Notylia sylvestris (Schiede) Conz. 1947; Vanilla aromatica Willd. 1805; Vanilla bampsiana Geerinck 1982; Vanilla duckei Huber 1909; Vanilla fragrans (Salisb.) Ames 1924; Vanilla hirsuta M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones 1996; Vanilla planifolia var. angusta Costantin & Boiss. ex C.Henry 1924; Vanilla sativa Schiede 1829; Vanilla sylvestris Schiede 1829; Vanilla tahitensis J.W.Moore 1933; Vanilla tiarei Costantin & Bois 1915; Vanilla viridiflora Bl. 1825;

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Symbolae Antillanae Vol VI Orchidaceae Urban 1909; Flora of Jamaica Fawcett & Rendle 1910; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; Atlas des Orchidees Cultivees Constantin 1920 drawing fide; Flore Descriptive des Antilles Francaises H. Stehle 1939 as V fragrans; Flora Brasilica Vol XII II Hoehne 1945 drawing fide; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 26 No 2 1957; AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 6 1958; AOS Bulletin Vol 28 No 5 1959; AOS Bulletin Vol 32 # 10 1963 as V fragrans; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 38 No 3 1969 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 38 No 5 1969 photo; Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 1 1969 drawing good; AOS Bulletin Vol 39 No 4 1970 photo; Die Orchideen #1 1-4 tafel 1&2 Rudolph Schlechter 1971 photo plant only; The Native Orchids of FLorida Luer 1972 drawing/photo fide; Flora of the Lesser Antilles Garay & Sweet 1974 drawing fide; Las Orquideas De El Salvador Vol 2 Hamer 1974 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 44 #8 1975; Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 7 385 - 448 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1975; Orchidaceae Brasilenses Band 1 Pabst & Dungs 1975 drawing fide; Orchidaceae Brasilenses Band 1 Pabst & Dungs 1975 as V aromatica drawing fide; Orquideologia Vol 12 No 1 1977; Flore de la Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependences Vol 8 Orchidaceae Halle 1977 drawing fide; Flora of Ecuador No 9 225[1] Garay 1978 drawing fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 354 Hamer 1980 drawing fide; Las Orquideas de El Salvador Vol 3 Hamer 1981 drawing ok; The Complete Writings on Philippine Orchids Vol 2 Quisumbing 1981 drawing good; Flore D'Afrique Centrale [Zaire- Rwands - Burundi] Orhidaceae Premeir parte Geerink 1984 as V bampsiana drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 54 No 6 1985 photo fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 1194 Dodson 1984; AOS Bulletin Vol 56 No 4 1987 as V tahitensisphoto fide; An Introdution to the Orchids of Mexico Wiard 1987 photo fide; Orchids from The Coast Of Ecuador Arosemana, Jurado, Estrada and Konanz 1988 photo fide; The Orchids of the Solomon Islands and Bougainville Lewis & Cribb 1991; The Manual Of Cultivated Orchid Species Bechtel, Cribb & Launert 1992 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 796 1995 drawing fide; An Orchid Flora of Peurto Rico and the Virgin Islands Ackerman 1995 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 66 # 11 1997 as V fragrans drawing fide; Orchid Australia Vol 12 No 4 2000 photo; Orchidaceae Antillanae Nir 2000; Australian Orchid Review Vol 66 No 5 2001 photo; Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 796 Bennett & Christenson 2001; AOS Bulletin Vol 72 # 12 2003 photo fide; Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana Vol 7 Steyermark, Berry, Yatskievych and Holst 2003 drawing fide; Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; AOS Bulletin Vol 73 No 8 2004; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 5 Dodson 2004 drawing/photo fide; Algunas Orquideas de Oaxaca Suarez 2004 photo fide; The Orchids of Cuba Llamacho & Larramendi 2005 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 75 #4 2006 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 75 No 5 2006 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 75 # 12 2006 photo fide; Orquideas de la Serrania del Baudo Misas Urreta 2006; Native Australian Orchids Jones 2006 photo fide; Orchids of Madagascar Hermans 2007 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 72 No 3 2008 photo fide; Orchid Species Of Peru Zelenko & Bermudez 2009 photo fide; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009 photo fide; Orchids of Costa Rica Vol 1 Morales 2009 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 79 #11 2010 photo fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010; Orquideas del Peru Freuler 2010 ok; AOS Bulletin Vol 80 #5 2011 photo fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 327-336, Soto Arenas 2010 Drawing fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010 as V tahitensis; A to Z of South East Asian Orchid Species Vol 2 O'Byrne 2011 photo fide; Orquideologia Vol 29 #1 2012 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 82 #2 2013 photo fide; Guia de Orquideas de Chiapas Carlos Rommel Beutelspacher Baigts 2013 photo fide; Les Orchidees de Madagascar Bosser & Lecoufle 2015 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 85 #3 2016 drawing fide; Orchid Digest Vol 82 #1 2018 photo fide; Malesian Orchid Journal Vol 21 2018 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 88 #3 2019 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 88 #10 2019 photo fide; Lankesteriana 19(3) 2019 drawing fide;