Vanilla walkeriae Wight 1845 SUBGENUS Xanata SECTION Tethya

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

Another Drawing Drawing by M.D.Dassanayake & F.R.Fosberg

Common Name Walker's Vanilla

Flower Size [6.8 cm]

Found in southern India and Sri Lanka in dry scrub on trees and bushes at elevations around 600 meters as a large sized, hot to warm growing, viney epiphyte with a vertically grooved on one face, leafless, very stout stem that blooms in the spring on a terminal, very stout, 4 to 6" [10 to 15 cm] long, successively many flowered inflorescence with broadly ovate, subacute, 5 to 7 veined floral bracts and carrying white flowers.

"This species has been repeatedly confused with the other Indian leafless species such as V. wightii. V. walkeriae is similar to the Indian Ocean leafless species V. phalaenopsis and V. madagascariensis, with large, white flowers bearing very broad petals and 2 longitudinal rows of hairs on the lip disc. It has been confused with V. wightii. Part of the confusion can be traced to a mixture of both leafless Sri Lankan species on the type sheet of V. walkeriae at Kew."


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Orchid Culture in Ceylon and the East Price 1918; Indian Orchids: Guide to Identification and Culture Vol 1 Pradhan 1976 drawing good; A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon Vol 2 Dassanayake & Fosberg 1981 drawing fide; Orchids of Nilgiris Joseph 1987 drawing fide; Orchids of India A Glimpse Misra 2007; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010