This genus of orchids is composed of more than 100 different species that, although they are not characterized by having the most spectacular flowers, there is one of them, specifically the so-called Vanilla planifolia, which is what produces the Vanilla.
The Spanish conquerors of Mexico, knew this spice on the coasts of Veracruz, they gave it that name because its fruit resembles the scabbard of a sword but tiny, similar to green beans.
To obtain a really rich spice, the cultivation and preparation of the vanilla need long and meticulous care. That makes it, in proportion to the weight, one of the most expensive agricultural products in the world.It comes in the form of black and bright sticks, commonly called vanilla “pods”. However, in botany, it is about capsules.
These are the only orchids grown for a food use but, beyond the purely ornamental interest of most orchid genera, there are some of them that are also used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.