Missouri Botanical Gardens Orchid Show

The 2017 orchid show is in St. Louis and it is a beautiful one.  The Missouri Botanical Gardens has had orchids since 1876 when they were gifted to Henry Shaw.  Today there are over 6,000 orchid plants and some are over 100 years old.  The oldest orchid species still in the collection dates from the 1890s.

This year the show featured 19 vanilla species and 4 cultivated vanilla varieties. None of the vanilla orchids were in bloom. Vanilla is used for flavoring and aroma and is found in ice cream, soda, syrup, chocolate and cereal.  You can even find vanilla in detergent, shaving cream, cleaners, soaps and lotions, shampoos and candles.  The natural vanilla scent comes from the fruit of vanilla orchids. The Vanilla plaifolia is the primary source for vanilla.  Thomas Jefferson helped introduce vanilla to the United States and developed a recipe for vanilla ice cream!

Earlier, I made my own vanilla using vanilla pods from Mexico.  Most vanilla pods come from Madagascar and Indonesia.  You can find the how-to here.





Check out these gorgeous orchids from the show.  If you are in St. Louis, be sure and stop by the show.

Terri Steffes
Terri Steffes

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