Vanilla pompona Schiede 1829 SUBGENUS Xanata SECTION Xanata

Photo by Richard Gautier and his Guadeloupe Orchid Page


Common Name The Striking Vanilla

Flower Size 5" [12.5 cm]

Found in Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama at elevations of 270 to 530 meters on tree trunks in tropical lowlands as a giant sized, hot to warm growing, climbing epiphyte with a thick 3/4" [2 cm], adventitious stem with roots arising at the nodal junctions and carrying broadly oblong, fleshy coriaceous, rolled margins, abruptly narrowing to a subobtuse apex and below into a shortly conduplicate, petiolate base leaves that blooms on an axillary, 2" [5 cm] long, 6 to 8 flowered, racemose inflorescence arising from the base of the leaf.

This species is also used in vanilla bean pod production for the commercial use of vanilla as an extract in cooking. It has a slightly different flavor than the more commonly used Vanilla planifolia as a food flavoring source. The photo above is from a plant occuring in Guadeloupe West Indies.

"Vanilla pompona is a variable, widely distributed species. We consider it to be a species complex. The specific name is based on a Mexican specimen collected in central Veracruz. Mexican populations are apparently isolated from the rest of the populations of the species because there are no known populations in Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize, or El Salvador. It reappears only in Central Honduras and Nicaragua." Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010

Synonyms Notylia pompona (Schiede) Conz. 1947; Vanilla pittieri Schltr. 1906; Vanilla pompona subsp. grandiflora (Lindl.) Soto Arenas 2010; Vanilla pompona subsp. pittieri (Schltr.) Dressler 2010

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1856; Symbolae Antillanae Vol VI Orchidaceae Urban 1909; Flora of Jamaica Fawcett & Rendle 1910; Atlas des Orchidees Cultivees Constantin 1920 drawing fide; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 17: 10. Panama Schlechter 1922; Flore Descriptive des Antilles Francaises H. Stehle 1939; Flora Brasilica Vol XII II Hoehne 1945 drawing fide; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946; AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 6 1958; Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated Vol 1 Dunsterville & Garay 1959 not = V grandiflora; Native Orchids of Trinidad Schultes 1960; AOS Bulletin Vol 33 No 1 1964 photo ok plant only; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; AOS Bulletin Vol 38 No 6 1969; Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 1 1969 drawing fide; Flora of the Lesser Antilles Garay & Sweet 1974 drawing ok could this be swapped with their drawing of V phaenatha?; Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 7 385 - 448 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1975; Orchidaceae Brasilenses Band 2 Pabst & Dungs 1977 drawing good; Flora of Ecuador No 9 225[1] Garay 1978 drawing fide; Orchids of Venezuela, An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 3 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 not = V grandiflora; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 1195 Dodson 1984 drawing hmm; Flora Novo-Galaciana Vol 16 Orchidaceae Mc Vaugh 1985; The Orchids of Surinam Werkhoven 1986 photo fide; Orchids from The Coast Of Ecuador Arosemana, Jurado, Estrada and Konanz 1988 photo fide; Native Colombian Orchids Vol 4 COS 1992 photo fide; The Manual Of Cultivated Orchid Species Bechtel, Cribb & Launert 1992; Phylogeny and Classification of the Orchid Family Dressler 1993 drawing fide; An Orchid Flora of Peurto Rico and the Virgin Islands Ackerman 1995; Venezuela; Paraiso de Orquideas Romero 1997 photo maybe; Orchidaceae Antillanae Nir 2000; Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana Vol 7 Steyermark, Berry, Yatskievych and Holst 2003; Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 5 Dodson 2004 photo ok; Orchids of The Brazilian Central Plateau Menezes 2004 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 79 #10 2010 photo fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 336-342, Soto Arenas 2010 Drawing fide; Lankesteriana 9(3): 355-398 Soto Arenas & Cribb 2010 Orchideen Series C Band 74 Thiv & Worz 2012 photo fide; Orquideas de Roirama Luz & Franco 2012 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 85 #5 2016 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 86 #7 2017 photo fide; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018

Vanilla pompona subsp. grandiflora (Lindl.) Soto Arenas 2010

Deep Shade Hot Lankesteriana 9(3): 323-327, f. 9. Soto Arenas 2010 Drawing fide;