Vanilla Plum. ex Mill.

First published in Gard. Dict. Abr., ed. 4.: [s.p.] (1754), nom. cons. prop.
This genus is accepted
The native range of this genus is Tropics & Subtropics.

Descriptions

George R. Proctor (2012). Flora of the Cayman Isands (Second Edition). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Morphology General Habit
Fleshy green to yellow-brown vines, often high-climbing, with or without leaves, often producing roots at the nodes. Leaves of various textures from membranous to leathery, large to small and scale-like, persistent or early deciduous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences short, axillary racemes or spikes
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers rather large, subtended by ovate bracts; sepals about equal, free, spreading; petals similar to the petals; lip and claw adnate to the column, the limb broad, concave, embracing the column at the base, disc variously ornamented with scales, bristles, hairs or callus ridges
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Column
Column long, without a foot; clinandrium short or obliquely raised
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Anther attached to the margin of the clinandrium, incumbent; pollinia granular, composed of sticky monads, free or at length sessile on the rostellum
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stigma
Stigma transverse under the short rostellum
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Berries usually capsules, elongate, fleshy and leathery.
Distribution
A pantropical genus of about 90 species.
Vernacular
The spice called ‘vanilla’ is obtained from the fermented berries of Vanilla planifolia and (to a lesser extent) V. pompona.
[Cayman]

Orchidaceae, I. la Croix & P.J. Cribb. Flora Zambesiaca 11:1. 1995

Morphology General Habit
Lianes with aerial or clinging adventitious roots, rooting in the soil where the stem touches the ground.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves absent, or if present, sessile to shortly petiolate, fleshy.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences axillary or terminal, few- to many-flowered.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers large; white, yellow or green, often marked with purple or yellow on the lip.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals and petals similar, free.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Labellum
Lip usually larger than the sepals and petals, adnate to column for part of its length and forming a funnel; disk variously appendaged with lamellae or hairs.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Column
Column elongate, curved, auriculate; anther attached to margin of clinandrium, incumbent, subglobose, operculate; stigma transverse, bifid at the apex, situated under the rostellum. Rostellum broad, membranous, articulated at the base, usually deflexed.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule long, cylindrical, unilocular, dehiscent; seeds black, relatively large.
[FZ]

Orchidaceae, V. S. Summerhayes. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1968

Morphology General Habit
Scrambling, epiphytic lianes bearing adventitious roots arising at the nodes and opposite the leaves, if any
Morphology Stem
Stems usually terete, occasionally channelled, succulent, deep olive- or blue-green, of indefinite length, with or without leaves
Morphology Leaves
Leaves remote, linear to oblong-elliptical and broadly ovate, sessile or shortly petiolate, fleshy, often coriaceous, usually becoming smaller towards apex of stem, the uppermost leaves bract-like
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences racemose, occasionally branched, usually axillary, very occasionally terminal, sessile or pedunculate, few–many-flowered, often only 1 or 2 flowers fully open at one time
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers large, subtended by bracts of various sizes, often campanulate, ranging from purest white to deep dull green, often fleshy, fugacious
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Perianth
Sepals and petals free; petals often keeled on dorsal surface
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Labellum
Lip usually larger than tepals, adnate to the column for various distances to form a funnel; disc variously appendaged with lamellae, laciniae, hairs or raised keels
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Column
Column elongate, curved, auriculate; anther attached to margin of clinandrium, incumbent, subglobose, operculate; stigma transverse, often bifid at apex, situated under rostellum; rostellum broad, membranous, articulated at base, usually deflexed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsules linear, often very long, unilocular, dehiscent; seeds relatively large, black, shining.
[FTEA]

Sources

  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of the Cayman Islands

    • Flora of the Cayman Islands
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0