Vanilla planifolia is a species of vanilla. It is one of the primary sources for vanilla flavouring, due to its high vanillin content.
Vanilla planifolia is found in Central America and the West Indies. It prefers hot, wet, tropical climates.
Like all members of the Vanilla genus, Vanilla planifolia is a vine. It uses its fleshy roots to support itself as it grows.
Flowers are greenish-yellow, with a diameter of 5 cm (2 in). They last only a day, and must be pollinated manually, during the morning, if fruit is desired. The plants are self-fertile, and pollination simply requires a transfer of the pollen from the anther to the stigma. If pollination does not occur, the flower is dropped the next day.
National Tropical Botanical Garden
University of Connecticut EEB Plant Growth Facilities
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