Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Fast-growing vines for the Texas Hill Country
January 17, 2015 - What are the best fast-growing vines for our Hill Country location? The vine will be growing on a stucco wall, so we don't want the vine to grow into the stucco and destroy it. Location has morning ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine with green flowers
November 03, 2012 - What is this trailing plant with half inch green flowers with gold metallic centers? Looks like a milkweed plant or gourd plant of some kind. I found it off Hamilton Pool road. West of Austin TX
view the full question and answer

Vines free from cutter ants from Caldwell TX
November 14, 2012 - What are some climbing vines cutter ants won't eat
view the full question and answer

How to Control Poison Ivy
February 22, 2016 - We have lots of Poison Ivy on a site we are clearing it is adjacent to a pond and children are around this area all the time. We are creating hiking paths. I have a lot of experience but I do not wan...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of passion flower in Tunbridge Wells England
April 08, 2013 - I planted my passion plant 3 years ago and I have really looked after it. I think this winter has killed it, it looks so dead. I hope it can be saved; there isn't one part of it that is looking healt...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.