Jumellea fragrans (Thouars) Schltr. 1914 Photo by Alexandre Antoine

FragrancePart Sun WarmCoolLATESpring EARLY Fall

Common Name or Meaning The Fragrant Jumellea

Flower Size 3" [7.5 cm]

Found in Reunion and Mauritius in evergreen forests at elevations of 500 to 1500 meters as a medium szied, warm to cool growing epiphyte with an erect, branching, densely leafy stem enveloped by wrinkled sheaths and carrying linear-ligulate, almost equally bilobed apically, basally clasping leaves that blooms in the late spring through early fall on several axillary, shorter than the leaves, 4" [10 cm] long, single flowered inflorescence with 3 basal bracts and carrying fragrant flower and leaves.

In the late 1800's a French company started to market a product called Faham which consisted of leaves from Jumellea fragrans. This product was steeped in hot water to produce a fragrant tea that was very popular in it's time for it's unique taste and fragrance. The tea has been attributed to be a nostrum to aid in digestion as well as a remedy for respitory diseases. The leaves were also used to produce Ice cream, Custards and other products much like vanilla is today. The tea fell out of favor mainly for it's very high price because of the difficulty of procuring the leaves of this species that is found in a very inacccessble forest and so supplies were never great.

Synonyms Aeranthes fragrans (Thouars) Rchb.f. 1864; Aerobion fragrans (Thouars) Spreng. 1826; *Angraecum fragrans Thouars 1822; Epidorkis fragrans (Thouars) Kuntze 1891

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Historie Particulier des Plantes Orchidees Recueilles Sur Trois Iles Australes d'Afrique Thouars 1822 as Angraecum fragrans drawing fide; Flora of Madagascar Perrier 1939/81; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; AOS Bulletin Vol 28 No 5 1959; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; AOS Bulletin Vol 36 #7 1967 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 47 No 6 1978; AOS Bulletin Vol 49 # 6 1980 photo fide; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans and Campbell 2006 photo fide; Mille et Une Mini Orchideees Roguenant 2009 photo not?;