En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Tuesday - November 27, 2007

From: Lares, Puerto Rico, Other
Region: Other
Topic: Vines
Title: Information about the wormvine orchid, Vanilla barbellata
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi My name is Santiago I'm from Puerto Rico and discover this Vanilla orchid in the forest, this orchid is V. barbellata var. alba? You have some information of how identify the V. barbellata and the respectives varietys. note: for the picture contact by e-mail. Thanks Santiago

ANSWER:

Vanilla barbellata (wormvine orchid) is native to Florida, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and other islands of the Caribbean. I haven't been able to find any information about or descriptions of the different varieties of this orchid but I can guide you to several sources with keys and extensive descriptions of V. barbellata.

1. You can find a description of Vanilla barbellata in eFloras.com.

2. You can find a key to the Genus Vanilla by searching the "Key to Families" on the Flora of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands page sponsored by the National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution.

3. You can also download a PDF file (~16 MB) of "Vines and Climbing Plants of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands" by P. Acevedo-Rodriguez that has an extensive description as well as detailed line drawings for V. barbellata and other related species.

4. You can see some excellent photographs and read descriptions on two web sites: Florida Keys and Native Orchids of South Florida. The author and photographer of the latter site has a link to his e-mail address. You might contact him to see if he has information about varieties of this orchid.

5. The New York Botanical Garden publishes An Orchid Flora of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands by James D. Ackerman (1995) that can be purchased from the NY Botanical Garden or that you might find in your local library.

6. Finally, since the New York Botanical Garden lists V. barbellata as endangered in Puerto Rico, you might want to be cautious about telling only reputable researchers, not collectors, about the exact location of the specimen you found.

 

More Vines Questions

Problems with crossvine from Semmes AL
January 06, 2013 - I have a 3 year old cross vine (tangerine beauty) and the leaves have started turning black and falling off the plant. I have two plants growing on the same pergola (opposite ends) and the second plan...
view the full question and answer

Vine for arbor in Eugene, OR
May 01, 2009 - We have an arbor that is partial shade and stays fairly wet and want to plant a climbing plant on it with shallow roots, preferably with flowers. We had a wisteria but got roots and shooters everywher...
view the full question and answer

Control of invasive vine in North Carolina
November 18, 2009 - Hi, I live in Piedmont NC, have vines that twine around my shrubbery and are impossible to pull out of the ground w/o breaking because they are so thin/delicate. The leaves are maple-like (3 lobes), ...
view the full question and answer

Trellis plant for Southern California
October 29, 2009 - What is the best selection for a trellis plant? I live in Southern CA (zip 91701), and the area is on the southern part of our home with little or no shade. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Smoky Mountains Shaded Slope Plant Suggestions
April 29, 2013 - We live in a very shady spot in Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. We would like to plant vegetation on a sloped area behind our cottage to stop erosion after building an addition. Our h...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center