Vanilla polylepis Summerh. 1951 SUBGENUS Xanata SECTION Tethya

Plant and Flower in situ Zimbabwe

Photo by Bart Wursten , and his Flora Of Zimbabwe WebSite

Common Name The Many Scaled Vanilla

Flower Size 4" [10 cm]

Found in Zaire, Kenya, Angola, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe in riverine forests at elevations around 1200 to 1500 meters as a giant sized, cool growing epiphyte with a dark green, succulent, channeled, 6" internoded stems carrying a single oblong, apiculate, bright, glossy green leaf and a single root per internode clinging to both rocks and trees and blooms in the spring on axillary, many succussively single flowered inflorescence with flowers that last 1 to 3 days.

"A species closely related to V. imperialis, differing by its notched lip, shorter, broader tepals, lip with several rows of transverse, branching scales (not fine hairs), and a purple-violet blotch on lip, rather than a lip marked with streaks." Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010

Synonyms Vanilla schliebenii Mansf. ex Schlieben 1937

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; The Epiphytic Orchids of Malawi Morris 1970; The Orchids of South Central Africa Williamson 1977 drawing/photo fide; Malawi Orchids Vol 1 La Croix 1983 drawing fide; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 2 Cribb 1984 drawing fide; Flore D'Afrique Centrale [Zaire- Rwands - Burundi] Orhidaceae Premeir parte Geerink 1984 drawing fide; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Orchidaceae Part 1 Pope 1995 drawing/photo fide; Orchids of Kenya Stewart 1996 photo fide; African Orchids in the Wild and Cultivation La Croix 1997 photo fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010