of the flower is impossible due to the seperation of the
stamen from the stigma by the rostellum. However, in the
native region where vanilla grows mainly in Mexico, pollination
is done by Melipona bees. Elsewhere, manual
pollination is carried out. However, Vanilla
planifolia flowers only once a year during a short period of two months and in
the region of the Indian Ocean mainly in Madagascar, Reunion and Comores
Islands , it flowers from November to January.
The flowers open early in the morning for six to eight
hours and wither the day after. Successful pollination
is carried out early morning. If unsuccessful, the flowers
drop off in two or three days. Hand-pollination is done
with a sharp splinter thorn with the flower held in one
hand and the labellum is pushed down with the thumb releasing
the column. The stamen cap is therefore removed by the
thorn which exposes the pollinia, where the flap rostellum
is pushed up under the stamen with the thorn by pressing
with the thumb for one minute. Thus the pollinia are brought
into contact with the sticky stigma.
The greatest threat
and causes of fluctuation and weakening production at its
peak is that Madagascar is situated in a cyclonic region
normally in the month of December to April.