AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Vanilla roscheri Rchb.f., Linnaea 41: 65 (1876).
Description:
Climbing and scrambling herb with a stem of indefinite length, lacking green leaves. Roots short, arising at the nodes. Stem c. 10 mm in diameter, terete but with 2 shallow channels on each side; internodes up to 15 cm long; nodes with brown vestigial leaves up to 3 cm long. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, unbranched, up to 30 cm long, many-flowered. Flowers white flushed with pink, strongly and sweetly scented; lip salmon-pink or yellow in the throat. Ovary and pedicel short and erect at anthesis, becoming pendulous in fruit. Dorsal sepal up to 8 × 2.5 cm, lanceolate-oblong, apiculate; lateral sepals similar but slightly narrower. Petals up to 8 × 3.8 cm, elliptic-oblong or ovate, apiculate. Lip to 8 × 4.5 cm, funnel-shaped, the edges adnate to the column for 2 cm at the base; disk with 2 rows of laciniate crests up to 4 mm high, and a small crest up to 15 mm long composed of 2 rows of digitate lamellae arising between the main crests at the base. Column up to 2.5 cm long. Capsule to 17.5 cm long, 7.5 mm wide.
Habitat:
Coastal bush, coral rocks and mangrove swamps as well as open evergreen scrub inland, to 750 m.
Note:
This species may be conspecific with Vanilla phalaenopsis Reichenbach f. from the Seychelles and with Vanilla madagascariensis Rolfe from Madagascar. If so, Vanilla phalaenopsis would be the correct name.
Cultivation:
Keep plant in intermediate to warm temperatures in shade. Plant is grown in shade and require a lots of space for climbing. Plant can be mounted or grown in bark. Plant prefers dryouts between waterings.
Distribution:
SW. Ethiopia to NE. KwaZulu-Natal
References:
FZ, Vol 11, Part 1, (1995) Author: I. la Croix and P.J. Cribb; Flora of Tropical Africa, Vol 7, page 12, (1898) Author: (By R. A. Rolfe.) ; Active sexual reproduction but no sign of genetic diversity in range-edge populations of Vanilla roscheri Rchb. f. (Orchidaceae) in South Africa;
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ 
Vanilla roscheri 02  Vanilla roscheri 01  Vanilla roscheri 03  Vanilla roscheri 04  Vanilla roscheri 05  Vanilla roscheri 06 
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission.