Vanilla helleri A.D.Hawkes 1966 SUBGENUS Xanata SECTION Xanata

Drawing by Heller and The Epidendra Website

Common Name Heller's Vanilla [Nicaraguan Botanist 1900's]

Flower Size 2.4" [6 cm]

Found in Oaxaca state of Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama at elevations around 600 meters as a large sized, hot to warm growing, viney epiphyte with scandent, elongate, flexuous, subquadrate, sulcate on both sides, dark olive green stem carrying fleshy, oblong-elliptic, abruptly contracted to an acuminate apex, abruptly contracted below into a sulcate, petiolate base leaf that blooms in the spring on a 4" [10 cm] long, subumbellate, successively single to 20 flowered inflorescence with triangular-ovate, acute to obtuse, dark green, much shorter than the ovary floral bracts and carrying showy, ephemeral flowers.

"This is one the rarest of the Central American Vanilla species. It has relatively small flowers with a distinct 3-lobed lip, in which the midlobe is covered with retrorse, complanate, elongate trichomes, resembling in some way the South American V. ribeiroi. It is a member of the V. odorata- V. insignis complex, also with retrorse, orange trichomes on the midlobe." Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Phytologia 14(1): 19-20, t. 13. Hawkes 1966 drawing fide; Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; Lankesteriana 9(3): 309-311, f. 7. Soto Arenas 2010 Drawing fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010