The Vanilla Orchid

Choose a Vanilla Orchid if You Want a Beautiful, Wonderfully Scented Flower

The vanilla orchid is a unique flowering plant in the orchid family. There are currently around one hundred and ten discovered species of this beautifully scented flower, many of which are native to the warmer regions of the world. Unlike many traditional orchids like the moth orchid, this orchid can be found naturally in places that are not necessarily damp and cool in places which contain dense rainforest atmospheres like Central Africa, Brazil and southern parts of Asia. Possibly due to the tropical climate, the vanilla orchid has adopted a different style of growth, mimicking that of a vine. Since the vanilla orchid exhibits a vine like nature, it is usually found growing up a treeís trunk.

Like many of its orchid cousins, the vanilla variety is evergreen and grows from one single point, making it monopodial. Their vines can grow up to thirty five meters with leaves that alternate along the stem. It should be noted that not all species of vanilla orchid come with leaves, and many different vanilla orchid plants have no leaves whatsoever. This species of orchid flowers at certain times of the year, generally in the spring, but are extremely short lived. Generally, the flowers come in a variety of colors, including white, green and yellow. However, if you are looking for an orchid with stunning flowers that last for a decent amount of time, you may want to overlook the vanilla variety.

Commercially used vanilla is extracted from an orchid, making this plant famous the world over. As its fruit, the vanilla orchid produces the vanilla bean which is essentially nothing more than a seed pod that ripens over the course of eight months after the flowers have been pollinated. When the pods turn black in color after they have ripened, they give off the characteristic vanilla smell. In commercial production of vanilla extracts, the seed pod is used instead of the seeds due to its much more potent flavor.

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