Family Orchidaceae Subfamily Vanilloideae Tribe Vanilleae

Family Orchidaceae Subfamily Vanilloideae Tribe Vanilleae

Vanilleae Blume, Rumphia, 1 (1837) 196. Type genus: Vanilla.


  • Vanilleae Meisn., Pl Vasc. Gen.: Tab. Diagn. 384, Comm. (1842) 387. Type genus: Vanilla.
  • Lecanorchidinae Dressler, Selbyana, 5 (1979) 205. Type genus: Lecanorchis.
  • Galeolinae Garay, Bot. Mus. Leafl., 30 (1986) 233. Type genus: Galeola.

Perennial terrestrials or climbers, monopodial or sympodial, often without chlorophyl and mycoheterotrophic, herbaceous. Roots elongate, fleshy; velamen sometimes present. Stem glabrous. Leaves reduced to scale-leaves or well developed, alternate, often coriaceous with prominent reticulate nerves. lnflorescence a terminal or lateral raceme or panicle. Rachis glabrous, sometimes with indument. Flowers usually showy, resupinate, in Lecanorchis with a calyculus under the tepals, usually short-lived, fragrant or not. Sepals free, glabrous or outside with indument, usually fleshy and spreading. Petals free, glabrous, fleshy or membranous, spreading or incurved, usually sube qual to sepals. Lip free or with lateral margins fused to column to form a floral tube, usually 3-lobed, with multicellular hairs, bristles, mobile scales, or papillae or crests. Column usually slender, long or short, glabrous, sometimes arched; column foot not present; stigma usually emergent; rostellum often acute and bent forward; clinandrium often hood-shaped, usually with a pair of distinct, broad or slender, dtooth-like appendages on either side of the anther; anther terminal, incumbent, mobile, sometimes with a pair of forward-pointing projections; pollen usually loose, in monads or rarely forming true pollinia without additional structures. Ovary 1- or 3-locular, glabrous or less often pubescent, sometimes prominently ribbed. Fruit a capsule or rarely a fleshy, indehiscent berry. Seeds crustose, with or without prominent wings, or tunicate with long filament-like extensions.
(after Cameron 2003)

Tribe Vanilleae is pantropical due to the distribution of Vanilla (greatest diversity in Brazil); one genus only present in South America; 2 genera endemic in New Caledonia; 4 genera scattered throughout Oceania and south­-eastern Asia, including southern Japan, and Australia .

  • Cameron, K.M. Tribe Vanilleae. 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
  • Tribe Vanilleae

Tribe Vanilleae contains 10 genera; in New Guinea 5 genera


1a. Free standing terrestrials, not climbing == 2
1b. Climbing plants on trees== 3

2a. Fruit a capsule with a calyculus; seeds not crustose == Lecanorchis
2b. Fruit a berry without a calyculus; seeds crustose == Cyrtosia

3a. Plants with chlorophyll == 4
3b. Plants without chlorophyll == Galeola

4a. Leaves reduced to scales except floral bracts sometyimes leaf-like. Lip with irregularly conical warts all over the blade except median. Seeds winged; fruit a capsule == Pseudovanilla
4b. Leaves well developed. Lip with without warts all over the blade. Seeds crustose, without wings; fruit berry-like == Vanilla

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