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Vanilla orchid Vanilla perrieri

Vanilla perrieri is one of seven species of the orchid genus Vanilla growing in Madagascar.

Found in seasonally dry, deciduous woods on sandy soils at approximately 200 m. It is a scrambling or climbing vine, with green stems. The large, bright yellow flowers have an orange throat and appear in October, January and February. The genus is famous for its seed pod, where the flavour vanilla comes from.

Madagascan orchids come in all shapes and sizes. Some orchids live on the ground (called terrestrials) whereas others grow perched on trees (epiphytes) or rocks (lithophytes). They are found in almost every habitat on the island, from the coast to the highest mountain summit, and from the rain forest to the spiny forest.All orchids are proteced in Madagascar and cannot be collected except under licence. 

Madagascar is the only country outside the UK where Kew maintains a permanent presence. Our local team, working with Kew UK staff and local institutions, makes a significant contribution to research and conservation in Madagascar and ensures that Kew’s science has maximum impact at all levels from government decision-makers to local communities.

You can adopt this entire species for £1,000. Your donation will used to maintain the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, ensure this species is kept safe forever in the vaults, and to collect more species in the future.

In addition to receiving your adoption pack featuring your certificate and photograph of the species (this will be posted to you, or the recipient), you will also be invited to a behind the scenes tour of the Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst. You'll meet the staff and see the vaults where your species is stored.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Jill Taylor on 020 8332 3248 or j.taylor@kew.org

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