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Vanilla chamissonis Outdoors in Southern California

Posted by epiphyte78 9b (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 26, 11 at 15:11

Vanilla chamissonis Outdoors in Southern California

For a while now I've been informally asking around to see if anybody is growing Vanilla outdoors here in Southern California. A couple people said they knew of somebody growing Vanilla outdoors...but never saw any concrete evidence...until yesterday.

Yesterday I finally visited a friend in a local orchid society who has been growing Vanilla chamissonis outdoors for several years now. He only lives 5 minutes from me and as you can see his Vanilla is growing on the side of his house. This is the third time that it's climbed this high. When he took it down to share a cutting we observed that it was actually in bud for the first time since he's had it.

Vanilla chamissonis is from Brazil and it's not the species used for flavoring. There are around 110 species of Vanilla that are widely distributed in the tropics. Vanillas are exceptional orchids because they are hemiepiphytes...they start on the ground and climb up trees just like many Philodendrons do.

How many other species of Vanilla can be grown outdoors year around here in Southern California?

Most likely this Vanilla chamissonis came from a cutting of a plant that Paul Grip collected many years ago from Brazil. The SBOE has this orchid available for sale.

Here is a link that might be useful: Orchid Growers in Southern California

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Vanilla chamissonis Outdoors in Southern California

Sorry, cannot get excited over Vanilla orchids. But some lovely orchids photos in the link.

RE: Vanilla chamissonis Outdoors in Southern California

Is Vanilla commonly grown outdoors in NSW? If so...which species?

Glad you liked the photos in the link. Here are 17 specimen orchids blooming on trees...four of which are native to Australia.

RE: Vanilla chamissonis Outdoors in Southern California

I've only ever seen one Vanilla orchid, it was growing in a Phal. house and wandered here and there, hither and yon.
Great pictures of specimen plants in the link!

RE: Vanilla chamissonis Outdoors in Southern California

I'm surprised Vanilla isn't more commonly grown outdoors in NSW. If anybody in your society should ask about Vanilla you can let them know that Vanilla chamissonis grows fine in SoCal. Since NSW has a better climate it should grow fine there as well.

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