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Vanilla is an Orchid!!

Just watching a food programme on C4 and the vanilla plant is so pretty and is actually an Orchid, no doubt some/lots of you knew that but I thought it was really interesting.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,308

    I didn't know that Tracey

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800
    Wowsers, something I know that one of the experts didn't LOL. I love orchids, if only I could grow vanilla. Very interesting programme.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,649

    It is indeed an orchid and a native of Mexico and central America where it is pollinated by a particular species of bee which made it impossible to cultivate commercially but then a slave boy on Réunion island discovered how to hand pollinate it and now it is grown globally.   Still very expensive though but so much tastier than the chemical essence versions.

    Think I learned this on the A to Z of gardening or some such.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I had no idea about that either! I thought it was cotton that was an orchid, now I need google to tell me what plant the cotton is Haha

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800
    I think cotton might be too. Everyday is a school day image
  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    No, cotton is a tropical shrub, the 'boll' of cotton that gets woven into cloth is the seed head, somewhat the same as clematis and dandelions.  If left alone, it will break up and spread the seeds all over the place.  Picking out the seeds is one of the most difficult jobs in cotton production.

    Actually, cotton is a dreadful crop, it takes huge amounts of water and, in America, uses 75% of the pesticides used in that country.  When grown elsewhere the treatment of the workers is appalling.  It ruins the soil in which its is grown repeatedly - not really a good crop at all.  I ask that maybe when you buy cotton clothing, you consider trying to buy fairly traded cotton?  The T-shirts and so on are well made, and don't ruin either the soils they are grown in nor the people who grow it.

    I know this is not a gardening remark, and possibly the powers that be will remove it but I had to try.

    Anyway, cotton still isn't an orchid, but a shrub!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,138

    I don't have a problem with that info being on here  Bookertoo image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    That's good info and still related to plants, thanks for clarifying Bookertoo image

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,649

    I agree, Bookertoo.  I always do a raid on M&S for fair trade t-shirts when I'm in the UK.   I like cotton sheets and quilt covers too but steer clear of US grown.  

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • i didnt know that bookertoo, i cant wear wool so all my cardies and jumpers are cotton. i will be more careful next time i shop

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