Monday, October 1, 2012

Aromatic plants – Comoros

The Post of Comoros issued the stamp series of aromatic plants on  October 9,  2003 . The issue comprises of two postage stamps depicted Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata ), and Vanille (Vanilla planifolia).

Ylang-Ylang or Cananga odoratakenanga (Indonesian), fragrant cananga, Macassar-oil plant  is a tree valued for its perfume. The essential oil derived from the flowers is used in aromatherapy.

Cananga  odorata is a fast-growing tree of the custard-apple family, Annonaceae and attains an average height of 12 m . It grows in full or partial sun, and prefers the acidic soils of its native rainforest habitat.

The evergreen leaves are smooth and glossy, oval, pointed, with wavy margins, and 13–20 cm  long. The flower is drooping, long-stalked, with six narrow, greenish-yellow (rarely pink) petals, rather like a sea star in appearance, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil.

Vanille or Vanilla planifolia is a species of vanilla orchid. It is native to Mexico, and is one of the primary sources for vanilla flavoring, due to its high vanillin content.

Vanilla planifolia is found in Central America and the West Indies. It prefers hot, wet, tropical climates. It is harvested mostly in Mexico and Madagascar.

Flowers of Vanille  are greenish-yellow, with a diameter of 5 cm. They last only a day, and must be pollinated manually, during the morning, if fruit is desired. Vanille are self-fertile, and pollination simply requires a transfer of the pollen from the anther to the stigma. If pollination does not occur, the flower is dropped the next day.

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