Notylia pompona (Schiede) Conz.
Vanilla pompona is a succulent-stemmed, perennial climbing plant, producing a stem that can be 5 metres or more long. The plant grows into trees, supporting itself by means of aerial roots that are produced from the stem nodes. It is often epiphytic, or becomes epiphytic as the lower portion of the stem withers and dies.
This species yields an inferior quality of vanilla, though it does also have some advantages over that species. It was at one time a very popular spice but is less often used nowadays, though still occasionally cultivated for its seedpods[
The stems produce a watery and caustic latex when wounded[
Northern Central America - Mexico.
Brush woods and half-shady places in low country[
]. On trees and shrubs in forests at elevations up to 1,000 metres in Guatemala[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Although the pods are of inferior quality to the true vanilla (Vanilla planifolia), the plant does also have some advantages inasmuch as its pods do not have a tendency to wilt; it is easily cured; and the vines are said to flower and fruit three or four times during the year[
The flowers, which individually only live for a day, usually need to be hand pollinated, especially when the plant is growing outside its native range, if the fruit is to be produced[
It takes 6 months from flowering until the seedpods are ready to harvest[
The short, thick seedpod is used as a vanilla-like flavouring in foods[
]. Inferior to the true vanilla (Vanilla planifolia)[
The fermented fruit is made into vanilla crystals which are then put into carapa oil (Carapa guianensis) and used in the treatment of poor blood circulation and skin conditions[
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