Vanilla albida Blume 1823 SUBGENUS Xanata SECTION Tethya

Photo by © J B Comber and Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria


Common Name The White Vanilla - In Thailand O lop, ka o lon, ngot khao

Flower Size 3" [7.5 cm]

Found in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sumatra, Java, the lesser Sunsa Islands and Borneo in tropical evergreen forests on rocks by waterfalls and in mixed deciduous forests at elevations around 70 to 600 meters as a giant sized, hot to warm growing, climbing terrestrial with an elongate, terete, leaf bearing stem carrying fleshy, lanceolate, acute, petiolate base leaves that blooms in the winter and early spring on rather angular, [1 to 3 cm] long, 6 to 12 flowered inflorescence with triangular, obtuse floral bracts carrying wide open flowers that close half way after a day or so.

"We interpret this species as the plant illustrated by Comber (1990) in Orchids of Java. It has flowers with green tepals and a large, deflexed, white lip with conspicuous trichomes at the lip apex. Vanilla albida is similar to V. montana and V. yersiniana, and they have been submerged in the synonymy of the former by some authors. However, V. montana has larger trichomes at the lip apex, broader leaves, and V. yersiniana has shorter trichomes and whiter tepals, longer sepals and shorter lip. The plant illustrated by Comber (1990) was collected on Gunong Hambali, Lenkong, SW Java, not far from Blume´s original locality. Comber (pers. comm.) indicated that the sepals become yellower with age. Blume´s plate 67 shows a flower also with greenish tepals, similar to Comber´s plant rather than to the Thailand plants identified as V. albida in recent years that must treated as V. yersiniana." Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1857; Die Orchideen Von Java J.J.Sm. 1905; Die Orchideen Von Java Figuren Atlas J.J.Sm. 1908 drawing fide; The Orchids of Thailand Seidenfaden & Smitnand 1959 as V pilifera drawing fide; Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Bind 32 nr 2 Orchids of Thailand VI Neottiideae Seidenfaden 1978 drawing fide; Orchids of Java Comber 1990 photo fide; The Orchids of Penninsular Malaysia and Singapore Wood & Seidenfaden 1992 drawing/photo fide; The Plants of Mount Kinabalu Vol 2 Orchids Beaman, Wood, Beaman & Beaman 1993; Identification of the Orchids [Orchidaceae Juss.] Vietnam Averyanov 1994; A Checklist of the Orchids of Borneo Wood & Cribb 1994; Orchids Of Sumatra Comber 2001 photo fide; Flora of China Vol 25 Zhengyi, Raven & Deyuan 2009 as V somai; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010; The Orchids of Mount Kinabalu Vol 2 Wood, Beaman, Lamb, Chu Lun and Beaman 2011 drawing fide; Flora Of Thailand Orchidaceae Vol 12 Part 1 Pedersen, Kurzweil, Suddee & Cribb 2011 drawing/photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 85 #3 2016 drawing fide; Malesian Orchid Journal Vol 21 2018