• slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide
  • slide

Vanilla Orchid Vine

You may be surprised to discover that one of the most popular flavors in the world, vanilla, comes from an orchid.

The vanilla orchid vine (Vanilla planifolia) is native to tropical forests of Central and South America. It was first used by Aztecs to flavor their chocolate drink. 

In its natural environment, the flowers are pollinated by a specific insect that inhabits the same areas as this orchid.  When grown commercially, outside of its native habitat, the flowers must be pollinated by hand for the long bean to develop.

The beans are harvested, dried and cured. This long arduous process explains why vanilla is the second-most expensive spice in the world.

As the demand for vanilla outgrew the supply artificial vanillin was created. This synthetic version is made from a variety of items including the lignin from paper pulp.  Imitation vanilla extract is derived from synthetic vanillin not the vanilla plant.

A bit more information: Curing the vanilla is also labor intensive. The beans are dipped in boiling water, dried in the sun and covered at night.  This takes several months for the vanilla flavor to develop.

Upcoming Live Events
& Webinars


Feb. 28, 2024
FREE WEBINAR

Create a Beautiful Landscape Free of Invasive Plants in Wisconsin Gardens
Register now

Feb. 29, 2024
FREE WEBINAR

How to Plan Your Rain Garden
Register now

March 6, 2024
FREE WEBINAR

Growing Summer Bulbs in Containers
Register now

March 13, 2024
FREE WEBINAR

Hydrangea Selection, Pruning & Care
Register now

March 14, 2024
FREE WEBINAR

How to Select Rain Garden Plants
Register now


March 20, 2024
FREE WEBINAR

Maximize the Beauty and Enjoyment
in Any Small Space
Register now

March 23, 2024

REALTORS Home & Garden Show
West Allis, WI

March 27, 2024
FREE WEBINAR

How to Start a Garden for Beginners
Register now

April 10, 2024
FREE WEBINAR

Container Gardening Throughout the Year
Register now

April 11, 2024
FREE WEBINAR

7 Steps to Managing Water Where it Falls in Your Yard
Register now

April 20, 2024
Pasquesi Home & Gardens
The Why and How of Pruning Hydrangeas and Other Shrubs
Lake Bluff, IL

WATCH ON-DEMAND WEBINARS

Learn More

Book an Appearance

Learn More

Enter to win Longfield Gardens bulbs valued at $157.00 !

ENTER NOW