Vanilla is an orchid grown commercially for its seed pods or ‘vanilla beans’. The flowers are open only for one day and must be hand-pollinated. The resulting seedpods are harvested green, cured by a sweating process and used for extract and flavoring. 

    Wildlife Facts
    Common Name:
    Vanilla Orchid
    Scientific Name:
    Vanilla planifolia
    Mexico, Central America
    • Yellow
    Fun Facts:
    • Vanilla is at risk mostly because of habitat loss and being wild collected for planting in plantations and research for hybridizing with cultivated plants.
    • It is the only orchid that produces an edible fruit.
    • There are no pollinators for the vanilla orchid outside its native origin.
    • All commercial vanilla is hand pollinated.
    • The reason vanilla is so costly is because of the expense of hand pollination.
    Plant Type:
    • Evergreen
    • Vine/liana
    Endangered Status
    Endangered Status
    • Extinct in Wild (EW)
    • Critically Endangered (CR)
    • Endangered (EN)
    • Vulnerable (VU)
    • Near Threatened (NT)
    • Least Concern (LC)
    • Not Evaluated (NE)
    Hardiness Zones

    The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.

    USDA Hardiness Zones

    11a (40 °F to 45 °F)

    11b (45 °F to 50 °F)

    12a (50 °F to 55 °F)

    12b (55 °F to 60 °F)