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Vanilla planifolia

Vanille Vanili Orchydaceae


Vanilla planifolia, Vanille, Vanili

This large climber occurs naturally in the West Indies and Central America, but is now cultivated around the world for the vanilla essence which is extracted from the seed pods. The fleshy leaves are up to 8 in (20 cm) long and 2 in (5 cm) broad.
The pale yellow inflorescence is about 2 in (5 cm) long and has several fragrant, short-lived fragrant flowers which open successively, each about 2 1/2 in (6 cm) long.
The seed pod, the source of vanilla flavoring, is fleshy, turning black as it ages and exuding a strong odor.
Vanilla planifolia flowers throughout the year.
Cultivation: The plants grow well if potted in a mixture such as would be used for Cymbidium and need something on which to climb.
They require bright filtered light and regular watering and fertilizing.
The plants do not flower until they have reached a large size.
Propagate from stem cuttings.