Vanilla griffithii Rchb.f. 1854 SUBGENUS Xanata SECTION Tethya

Photo by © Peter O'Byrne and The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria Website


Photo courtesy of © N Parks Flora Web Website

Fragrance deep shadeWarm to Hot Spring EARLYSummer

Common Name Griffith's Vanilla [English Physicisn and Orchid Collector 1800's]

Flower Size 2.4" [6 cm]

Found in Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra in tropical evergreen lowlands as an elongate, hot to warm growing terrestro-epiphytic vine with 3 to 4" [7 to 10 cm] long internodes on an elongate, climbing stem carrying elliptic, fleshy, abruptly narrow tipped, shortly petiolate base leaves that blooms in the spring and early summer on a fractiflex, 1.2 to 3.2" [3 to 8 cm] long, densely to 12 flowered inflorescence with 4 sterile, spreading bracts and ovate, acute floral bracts and carrying wide opening, fragrant flowers.

In Malaysia the fresh fruits of this species have been mentioned as being eaten by the natives. The flowers are also crushed and added with water and the liquid is applied to the body to help reduce fevers. The sweet fruits are crushed with the leaves to make a milky irritating juice that is applied to the hair to promote growth.

"Vanilla griffithii is a distinct species because the “ball” of hairs instead of the penicillate callus of allied species. The midlobe is itself deeply bilobed. The floral buds are very truncate-rounded. Sterile collections can be identified by the very broad leaves and many capsules on the inflorescences, as if they be self-pollinated." Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010

Synonyms Vanilla tolypephora Ridl. 1893

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1854; AOS Bulletin Vol 28 No 4 1959; AOS Bulletin Vol 28 No 5 1959; Flora of Malaya Vol 1 Holttum 1953 drawing fide; The Orchids of Thailand Seidenfaden & Smitnand 1959; Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Bind 32 nr 2 Orchids of Thailand VI Neottiideae Seidenfaden 1978 drawing fide; Die Orchideen lieferung 19/20 Schlechter/Brieger 1988 as Trudelia griffithii drawing good; The Orchids of Penninsular Malaysia and Singapore Seidenfaden & Wood 1992 drawing hmm; A Checklist of the Orchids of Borneo Wood & Cribb 1994; Orchids of Sumatra Comber 2001; A to Z of South East Asian Orchid Species Vol 1 O'Byrne 2001 photo fide; A field Guide to the Wild Orchids of Thailand Vaddhanaphuti 2005 photo ok; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010; Wild Orchids of Penninsular Malaysia Ong, O'Byrne, Yong & Saw 2011 photo fide; Flora Of Thailand Orchidaceae Vol 12 Part 1 Pedersen, Kurzweil, Suddee & Cribb 2011 drawing/photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 84 #1 2015 photo fide;