Vanilla imperialis Kraenzl. 1896

Lip Detail

Plant and Flower Photos by Danny Lentz , plant grown by the Atlanta Botanical Garden


Common Name The Imperial Vanilla

Flower Size 6.4" [16 cm]

Found in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Zaire, Tanzania, Uganda and Angola at elevations around 900 to 1200 meters as a large sized, warm to cool growing, climbing herb with fleshy, broadly elliptic-oblong to ovate, apiculate to obtuse, dull bluish green, basally clasping leaves that blooms on an axillary, sessile, erect, densely many flowered, unbranched, to 6" [15 cm] long inflorescence with closely imbricating, ovate, obtuse to subacute bracts with successively opening single flowers that last 1 to 2 days

Synonyms Vanilla grandifolia var. lujae (De Wild.) Geerinck 1974; Vanilla imperialis var. congolensis De Wild. 1921; Vanilla lujae De Wild. 1904

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Orchids of East Africa Piers 1968 photo good; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 2 Cribb 1984; The Orchids of Kenya Stewart & Campbell 1996 photo fide; African Orchids in the Wild and Cultivation La Croix 1997; Australian Orchid Review Vol 66 No 4 2001 photo; Orchid Digest Vol 72 No 3 2008 photo