A most flavorful garden occupant

April 16 is National Orchid Day. One of my favorite trivia questions is: “What part of an orchid do we commonly, maybe even daily, eat?” Answer?

VANILLA! And what’s more… we can grow vanilla on our lanais, in our front yard tree… and then we can not just eat local, but Flavor Local!

Here’s how.

Flowers of V. planifolia (top left), V. pompona (top center), V. phaeantha (top right), V. mexicana (bottom left), V. dilloniana (bottom center), and V. barbellata (bottom right) growing in southern Florida. Credit: Alan Chambers, UF/IFAS

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