Vanilla imperialis ‘DBG’ HCC/AOS

(Sub-Saharan Africa)

Many people don’t understand (or realize) that Vanilla is an orchid. Every time you enjoy your delicious vanilla “bean” ice cream you are actually eating cured orchid seed. Vanilla is a vining genus (a somewhat unique attribute among orchids) which will scramble up any host if given sufficient light and water. This particular species is the largest of the vanillas and its vine can be over 1″ in diameter with 8″ leaves and can get 60′ + long. The large rosettes of flowers usually appear at the top of the growths where they receive ample light and fresh air with individual flowers only lasting a day or two but produce flowers in succession over a few weeks at a time. These 6″ flowers were 12′ high in the rafters and required a large ladder to photograph.