June 23, 2009

Different Species of Vanilla Orchids

By Jason Hobbs

The species of vanilla orchids are the genus of 110 species of the family of orchids named as Orchidaceae. These include the Vanilla Planifola Species from which derives the commercial vanilla flavoring. The name mainly comes from the Spanish word "vainilla" which is a diminutive type of "vaina" which means "sheath". This in turn, is derived from the Latin word "vagina". These species of vanilla orchids occur worldwide in the subtropical and tropical regions ranging from the tropical Asia to tropical America, West Africa and New Guinea. These vanilla orchids were known to the Aztecs. Vanilla is also grown on a commercial scale. This type of wine like plants has the monopodial habit of climbing. These have the capability of forming long wines having length exceeding 35 meters and containing alternate leaves which are spread along the length.


Vanilla Orchids are native to the neo tropical region. They are mostly found in the regions including the Central Americas, Mexico, northern part of South America and the West Indies. Besides these, vanilla orchids are also found in the South East Asian regions. Vanilla orchids are both epiphytic and terrestrial in nature. They mostly grow on the other plants or on the soil and of shoot aerial roots, which capture nutrients and water.

To grow the vanilla orchid and make it to produce orchid flowers is a rewarding experience in itself. These vanilla orchid species are simple to grow in the greenhouse or garden. A redwood orchid bark or a well draining humus rich soil is just about perfect for this orchid. The temperature or humidity need not be below 40 degrees. While most people don't know the fact that there is a link between the vanilla and the orchids, actually, vanilla orchids belong to the largest and the oldest flowering plant group - the orchids. In addition, the vanilla family is only amongst all the orchids, which produce a crop that is agriculturally valuable.

More on Vanilla Orchid:

The vanilla orchids mostly grow on the edges of the tropical forests. They have fleshy, thick stems and greenish, small flowers which blossom early in the morning which are easily pollinated by bees and hummingbirds. The ovaries of the vanilla swell and then develop into fruits once they get pollinated. These ovaries are called as pods. They are similar to the thin, long runner beans. The flowers of the vanilla orchids possess a slight scent without any element of aroma or vanilla flavor. The vanilla pods develop after 4 weeks and are then dried, harvested and cured for producing the distinct flavor which millions of people know and love. A simple vanilla orchid has indirectly become an ingredient for a good taste the world over!

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