Leptotes bicolor

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Leptotes bicolor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Epidendreae
Subtribe: Laeliinae
Genus: Leptotes
Species: L. bicolor
Binomial name
Leptotes bicolor

Leptotes bicolor is a species of orchid native to Paraguay and southern Brazil.[1] It is the type species of the genus Leptotes. Its flowers and fruits are used as a substitute for vanilla in milk and ice cream.

It grows in cooler climates than vanilla, as its distribution occupies regions more distant from the equator. It contains vanillin, the main compound of the extract of the vanilla.[2] It is grown as an ornamental plant.


Leptotes bicolor is a miniature sized epiphyte. The pseudobulbs are terete and the fragrant flowers are borne in groups of 1-3 and are mostly white with a prominent purple patch on the labellum.[3]


  1. ^ La Croix, I. F.; Aubron, Manuel (2008). The New Encyclopedia of Orchids:1500 Species in cultivation. Timber Press. p. 246. ISBN 0-88192-876-3. 
  2. ^ "Leptotes bicolor". Flora Library. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  3. ^ "IOSPE PHOTOS: Leptotes bicolor". OrchidSpecies. Retrieved 2016-10-07.