Family: Orchidaceae Juss.
Vanilla phalaenopsis
Distribution: Endemic to granitic inner islands of Seychelles archipelago (Mahé, Praslin and Silhouette). Genus Vanilla includes about 100 species from tropical Africa, Asia and America; the most related species grow in Madagascar and southeastern Asia (e.g. Vanilla aphylla).
Ecology: Sunny places of glacis (granitic hills) from sea level up to 300 m, with shrubs or forest margins. Soils are shallow, stony, extremely poor and dry, climate is very hot (annual average of temperature extend to 27 °C).
Vanilla phalaenopsis
Description: Leafless liana climbing up to 5 m. Stems are succulent, thick, cylindrical or slightly flattened and grooved, with adventive, soon drying roots in nodes. Tiny deciduous leaves are developed only on base of stem. Inflorescence is axillar umbell. White flowers reach 8 cm in diameter, 5 perianth segments are more or less flat, one is trumpet-like with orange-pink centre. Single stamen and style are united. Capsule is cylindrical, 5–15 cm long, green in maturity.
Threat and protection: This species is protected by CITES.
Vanilla phalaenopsisVanilla phalaenopsis
Vanilla phalaenopsisVanilla phalaenopsis
Vanilla phalaenopsis
Vanilla phalaenopsis
Vanilla phalaenopsis
Vanilla phalaenopsis
These images were taken in Seychelles, Mahé Is., NP Morne Seychellois: between Danzilles and Anse Major (by Vít Grulich and Alena Vydrová, 5. 2. 2011).