Vanilla pompona has been listed as one of the minor sources of the spice vanilla. We are experimenting with different methods of harvesting and "curing" the seed pods, which are the so called "beans". Vanilla is an orchid which can grow into very large vines. They do best in greenhouses, where they can climb about. While hand pollination can produce pods, we primarily offer this as a beautiful and pretty rugged ornamental. The vines look like they are made out of jade, beautiful succulent green. Clusters of yellow-green flowers form on older plants (photo at right). Because Vanilla doesn't stay-put in a smaller pot for very long, we offer cut sections of vine which have roots on them. The generously-sized cuttings can be trained up moss-covered poles, logs, etc. Vanilla planifolia, the main species of commerce, has a reputation for flowering less easily than V. pompona. Our clone has flowered and set pods (see lower right) reliably for many years.

These pods, from Vanilla pompona, look much like small bananas. We picked them in December 2003 and January 2004. They were scalded at 65 degrees C for 5-6 minutes and allowed to slowly dry (cure). We'll update the site with what happens to this experiment.

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