Vanilla crenulata Rolfe 1896 SUBGENUS Xanata SECTION Tethya

Photos by Francisco Perez-Vera

Full shade Hot Warm

Common Name The Crenulate Vanilla

Flower Size

Found in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Gulf Of Guinea Islands, Gabon, Congo and Zaire in gallery forests at lower elevations as a large to giant sized, hot to warm growing terrestrial vine with an elongate climbing stem carrying oblong to elliptic, elongate cusp, petiolate base leaves that blooms on a compact, sometimes branched, .6 to 2.4" [1.5 to 6 cm] long, 5 to 12 flowered inflorescence with serrate, the inferiors often foliaceous or suborbicular and carrying mauve to rose colored flowers.

The stems of this species in Zaire are used to make the strings for a mandolin-like instrument called koudi.

"Another member of the V. africana complex, often considered as conspecific with V. ramosa. It is characterized by its broad leaves, unbranched inflorescence, and flowers with a broader and less acute crenulate front lobe of the lip. Characteristic is the presence of very broad, oval bracts at the base of the raceme. Summerhayes (1968) also indicated a larger lip, midlobe and column in V. crenulata, compared with V. ramosa. In living condition, V. crenulata flowers are easily distinguished by their conduplicate, gibbose midlobe of the lip, with a penicillate callus at the top of the gibba. In their relatives (e.g. V. ramosa) the lip is rather flat, but this character is difficult to see in herbarium specimens. Szlachetko & Olszewski (1999) considered V. crenulata to be a synonym of V. africana." Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; AOS Bulletin Vol 32 # 10 1963; Flore D'Afrique Centrale [Zaire- Rwands - Burundi] Orhidaceae Premeir parte Geerink 1984 drawing fide; Les Orchidees de Cote d'Ivorie Perez-Vera 2003 drawing/photo fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010