Vanilla roscheri Rchb.f., Linnaea 41: 65 (1876).
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.
Coastal bush, coral rocks and mangrove swamps as well as open evergreen scrub inland, to 750 m.
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.
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.
SW. Ethiopia to NE. KwaZulu-Natal
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;
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