Vanilla planifolia

Syn. Myrobroma fragans, Vanilla fragans

Vanilla

 

Vanilla orchids vine

                                                                               

 

Vanille, vanilla, vainillas, vaniy, bonne vanille, vanille Bourbon,  …

 

Famille

 

ORCHIDACEAE

 

Origin

 

Tropical America

 

Description

  

This wonderful evergreen orchid vine has fleshy stems, succulent leaves to 12 cm (4 3/4 inches) long distributed singularly and alternately along its length, with aerial roots from the nodes opposite the leaves.

The fruit is thin and pod like, from 15 to 24 cm (6" to 10"). Well dried, it gives the famous Vanilla pod.

Blooming in summer or autumn in temperate climate and in dry saison in tropical climate.

 

Habitat

 

Tropical rainforest

 

Propagation

Cutting

 

Culture and care

 

 

Vanilla likes 30-70oF nights, 80-90oF days, water, spray and feed frequently, the good exposure is direct morning sun until noon and bright shade after noon.

Average growth rate is 3 to 5 feet a year, so substantial support as the vine grows upwards on poles, trees, etc. using its aerial roots. 

Under natural conditions, Vanilla Planifolia climbs, covers its support and flowers when it reaches the top of the canopy. 

It grows in shade and flower in full sun.

Vanilla can also grow in container; roll the cutting onto a container full of peat, cocoon dry leaves. 

Put a support in the middle, water vanilla frequently, and it will grows on naturally on it. If it dry, put a 1/2 bottle on the top to increase humidity.

At 2 1/2 to 3 years old, the vines should be tip pruned to induce flowering.

Uses

 

- Ornemental use

 

 

Very nice indoor plant. Can be planted as a single plant or in wood.

 

- Alimentary use

 

Spice, beverages

 

- Other uses 

 

Perfume massage oil, punch

 

Etymology

 

Vanilla means « Little-sheath », diminutive of Spanish vaina, Latin, vagina (from the Spanish name, vainilla, for a small sheath, describing the fruit).

Planifolia means :« having flat leaves ».

 

Anecdotes

  

Vanilla is maid for chocolate and also pumpkin soup.

Vanilla planifolia is the only orchid of significant economic importance as an edible crop, it is the second most expensive spice.

 

Recipes

 

 

Vanilla sugar:

In a covered container mix 2 cups of sugar with 1 Vanilla bean split lengthwise and cut in 2 inch pieces. Set aside for at least six weeks. The flavour intensifies upon standing. Stir in more sugar as used.

Vanilla extract:

In a covered glass jar place 1 Vanilla bean split lengthwise with 3/4 cup vodka or rum, set aside for at least 7 weeks. Add more liquor as used.

Vanilla syrup:

Put a vanilla bean in sugar cane syrup or put sugar cane with water and vanilla bean split lengthwise into a pan and heat it during 5 minutes.

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