Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Plant to trail down concrete block retaining wall in Maryland
September 15, 2012 - Hello, Your website is an excellent resource. Thank you very much! My girlfriend recently bought a house that has a concrete block retaining wall in the front yard. We want to improve the app...
view the full question and answer

Vines to Cover Brush Pile in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - We have a large brush pile on our property that we'd intended to burn, but it is big enough now that it would require the help of the fire department! I'm thinking I'd like to cover it with native ...
view the full question and answer

California native vine
June 21, 2008 - Hello, I am looking for a california native vine that can "cover" a wrought iron fence. I would like a vine that does not require too much care and can handle a fair amount of sun exposure.
view the full question and answer

Orange-red caterpillar with black spikes on passionflower vine
September 19, 2009 - What kind of orange-red caterpillar with black spikes is all over my passion vine?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification request for a vine
September 19, 2007 - I would like to identify a wild vine that I have just discovered in our bush. It has leaves similar in shape to a maple leaf,approx.4"wide, has white flower spikes, and some kind of a fruit or pod t...
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.