Vanilla insignis Ames 1934 SUBGENUS Xanata SECTION Xanata

Photo by Kerry Dressler


Drawing by Hagsater and The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria Website

Another Drawing Drawing by J B Edwards and The Epidendra Website

Common Name The Splendid Vanilla

Flower Size 2.8 to 3" [7 to 7.5 cm]

Found in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras at elevations around 700 to 800 meters as a large sized, warm growing viney epiphyte with a scandent, elongate, flexous stem carrying many, alternate, coriaceous, oblong-elliptic, abruptly acuminate apically, basally rounded and abruptly contracted into a short petiolate base leaves that blooms in the spring on an axillary, 1.2 to 1.6" [3 to 4 cm] long, successively 1 to 3, to 8 flowered inflorescence with broadly ovate, acute, fleshy, strongly concave floral bracts and carrying ephemeral, weakly spicy fragrant, very showy flowers with apple green tepals, a cream white lip with orang to dull yellow appendages on the midlobe, the extreme apex green, the callus cream and the column white.

"This common Mesoamerican species has rarely been collected in flower. Its flowers with large apple green tepals and a cream-colored lip bearing orangeochre retrorse papillae are characteristic. Sterile plants can be distinguished by their sulcate stems with minutely papillose surface. It is a member of the V. odorata group, but it has shorter leaves and more xerophytic habit." Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Bot. Mus. Leafl. 2(8): 101-103. Ames 1934 Drawing fide; Harvard Pap. Bot. 5 #2: Carnevali etal. 2001; Icones Orchidacearum Plate 700 Hagsater & Slazar 2002 drawing fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 316-320, f. 9. Soto Arenas 2010; Drawing fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010, Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018