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Genus Pseudovanilla

Genus Pseudovanilla

Pseudovanilla Garay, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 30 (1986) 234

Monopodial terrestrial plants. Stem elongated, climbing, greenish or brownish. Leaves usually absent, replaced by green, scale leaves; in Pseudovanilla foliosa with developed leaves. Inflorescence a panicle, much-branched. Flowers medium-sized, resupinate, glabrous, yellowish, lip with pink and red markings. Sepals free. Petals somewhat narrower than the sepals. Lip without spur, not mobile. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, mealy, caudicles, stipe, and viscidium absent. Bracts at base of branches leaf-like. Rachis and flowers glabrous.

Species present in New Guinea:

Pseudovanilla foliata
Pseudovanilla gracilis
Pseudovanilla montigena


Malesia, Australia, Ponape, east to Fiji. About 8 species; in New Guinea about two species.

Climber in lowland forests.

  • Pridgeon, A. M., P.J. Cribb, M.W. Chase & F.N. Rasmussen (Eds.). 2003. Genera Orchidacearum, Volume 3: Orchidoideae (Part 2), Vanilloideae. Pp. 319-321. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Stern, W.L.and W.S. Judd, W.S. 2000. Comparative anatomy and systematics of the orchid tribe Vanilleae excluding Vanilla. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 134:179-202.
  • Subfamily Vanilloideae
  • Tribe Vanilleae
  • Genus Pseudovanilla

Like Galeola this is a genus of usually leafless climbers, but here the floral bracts are large and leaf-like and green, so this genus appears to be less strongly mycoheterotrophic than Galeola. These biologically highly interesting plants are probably impossible to cultivate under normal conditions.


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Genus Pseudovanilla

Pseudovanilla foliata (F.Muell.) Garay, inflorescences, photo N.E.G. Cruttwell, from Papua New Guinea

Genus Pseudovanilla

Pseudovanilla foliata (F.Muell.) Garay, habit and floral analysis, drawing N.H.S. Howcroft 52, from Bulolo

Genus Pseudovanilla

Pseudovanilla foliata (F.Muell.) Garay, inflorescence, photo E.F. de Vogel

Genus Pseudovanilla

Pseudovanilla foliata (F.Muell.) Garay, inflorescence, partial, photo E.F. de Vogel

Genus Pseudovanilla

Pseudovanilla foliata (F.Muell.) Garay, flower detail, column and lip, front view, photo E.F. de Vogel