Family Orchidaceae Subfamily Vanilloideae

Family Orchidaceae Subfamily Vanilloideae

Vanilloideae Szlach., Fragm. Flor. Geobot. Suppl. 3 (1995) 48. Type species: Vanilla mexicana Miller.


  • Vanillaceae Lindl., Key Struct. Physiol. Syst. Bot. (1835) 73.
  • Vanilleae Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid Pl. (1840) 382, nom. inval.
  • Vanilleae Rchb., Handb. Nat. Pfl.-Syst. (1837) 155, nom. nud.
  • Vanilleae Tratt., Gen. Pl. (1802) 36, nom. nud.
  • Vanillaeeae (Lindl.) Rchb., Deut. Bot. Herb.-Buch. (1841) 56.
  • Vanillidae Lindl., Veg. Kingd. (1846) 182, nom. nud.

Perennial terrestrials or climbers, monopodial or sympodial, sometimes mycoheterotrophic, herbaceous. Roots elongate, fleshy, fibrous; velamen sometimes present. Tubers sometimes present. Stem sometimes hollow, sometimes climbing. Leaves 1 to many, alternate or in whorls, often fleshy or coriaceous with prominent reticulate venation; sometimes reduced to scale-leaves. lnflorescence a single terminal flower, a terminal or axillary raceme, or a panicle; rachis sometimes with indument. Flowers usuallyshowy, resupinate, sometimes with a distinct calyculus under the tepals, fragrant or not. Sepals free, glabrous or outside with indument, usuallyfleshy and spreading. Petals free, glabrous, fleshy or membranous, spreading or incurved, sometimes arching forward, usually similar to the sepals. Lip free or with the lateral margins adnate to the column, forming a tube,undivided or more often 3-lobed, with patches of multicellular hairs, bristles, mobile scales, papillae or crests; sometimes at the base with a pair of glands. Column usually slender, glabrous, sometimes arched; column foot absent; stigma usually emergent; rostellum often acute and bent forward; column apex frequently hooded, usually with a pair of distinct, broad or slender, denticulate appendages on either side of the anther; anther terminal, mobile, incumbent, sometimes with a pair of forward-pointing projections; pollen usually loose, in monads or sometimes in tetrads, rarely united in pollinia and then without additional structures. Ovary 1- or 3-locular, glabrous or with indument; sometimes prominently ribbed. Fruit a capsule or rarely a fleshy, indehiscent berry.
(after Cameron 2003)

Subfamily Vanilloideae is pantropical.

  • Cameron, K.M. Subfamily Vanilloideae. In Pridgeon, A. M., P.J. Cribb, M.W. Chase & F.N. Rasmussen (Ed.). Genera Orchidacearum, Volume 3: Orchidoideae (Part 2), Vanilloideae. (2003) 281-334.
  • Family Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily Vanilloideae

Subfamily Vanilloideae contains 2 tribes; in New Guinea 1 tribe:


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