The vanilla orchid (Vanilla planifolia) is one of the world’s most interesting plants.

The name vanilla comes from the Spanish word vainilla, a diminutive form of the word vaina which means sheath. The most common species is Vanilla planifolia, the vanilla orchid used to make commercial vanilla flavouring.

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) is native to the humid tropical regions of Mexico and Central America, but is also found in the wild in the jungles of South America. The name vanilla comes from the Spanish word vainilla, a diminutive form of the word vaina which means sheath.

The natives used it as a spice and also as a “perfume”. This truly exotic spice is derived from the specially cured seed capsules of a vine-like tropical orchid, native to Mexico.

Finally, a Creole worker discovered that the stigma was covered by a shield, which had to be lifted in order to place the pollen on the stigma.

However, it has also been reported that the seed capsules are eaten by bats thereby effecting seed dispersal. Placing the pollen on what appeared to be the stigma produced no results. A pollination technique invented by a 12-year-old slave on the island of Réunion is why we have vanilla today. Of the nearly 35,000 species of orchid, the second largest botanical family of plants, vanilla is the only species that produces an edible fruit. True vanilla is a sought after product, usually the second most exp The most common species is Vanilla planifolia, the vanilla orchid used to make commercial vanilla flavouring.

Vanilla has become synonymous with “plain” in American culture, but in reality, it is anything but. Hand pollination sounds like a lot of work. Vanilla Orchid flowers are hermaphroditic, meaning they contain both mail and female parts. The word vaina is in turn derived from …

Vanilla plant or vanilla orchid refers to any of the 110 species in the genus vanilla. Vanilla is the only orchid to provide a fruit edible to humans and in doing so consistently provides its grower a wealth of challenges. A greenhouse is also highly desirable, especially for … As we enjoy the vanilla aroma emanating from perfumes, cakes, and other desserts, we would do well to remember the genius of one child from the mid-1800s.

The greenish white flowers last a single day, opening just before sunrise and wilting before nightfall.

Native to Mexico and Central America, the vanilla vine is well suited for any tropical homestead.

Some blooms even have a trumpet-shaped lip, much like a Cattleya orchid.

Yet vanilla is a particular plant requiring special care, in particular during pollination where every flower must be hand pollinated. Some previous success with orchid growing is beneficial.

Quoting from her book - "Hand pollination was a mystery. Recent research has established the pollinator to be a Euglossine bee (also called Orchid Bees) consistent with the pollination of many very fragrant orchids in the neotropics. The Vanilla genus has roughly 100 species, but the one most often used in the commercial production of vanilla is the Vanilla planifolia..

Did you know that Vanilla comes from an orchid?

Because of a plant tissue in each flower called the rostellum that covers the stem, the flower cannot self pollinate. Home Orchid Growing, that there is a gimmick to pollinating Vanilla flowers.

The vanilla orchid is not an easy plant to grow for beginners. Its production ranks with the most time consuming of the worlds spices for the many steps it must undergo before use; from hand pollination of the ephemeral flower to on-the-vine ripening of seed capsules that later become the repository of the vanilla flavor as we recognize it. The Vanilla orchid’s blooms are large and can be white, cream, greenish-yellow, or light green in color.

Vanilla Orchid Care.

Vanilla belongs to a group that includes some of the most primitive orchids. Vanilla Orchid Care: The Basics.

Nov 30, 2017 Martin Chalakoski.