High Risk Traits:
- DISCLAIMER: This assessment has been completed under the assumption that prolific, natural seed production does not occur. In the Hawaiian Islands, Vanilla planifolia rarely, if ever, produces seeds naturally because the natural pollinators (euglossine bees) are absent, and plants require manual pollination for seed set. If the pollinators were introduced, the risk of Vanilla spreading through seed would be greatly increased. What negative impacts this would have on the natural environment is unknown.
- Naturalized in Florida, Puerto Rico and other tropical countries.
- Reported to be adventive, or persisting from cultivation on the island of Oahu, Hawaiian Islands.
- Thrives, and could potentially spread in regions with tropical climates.
- Shade-tolerant (could invade intact native forests)
- A climbing vine that could potentially compete with, or detrimentally effect, native epiphytes.
- Reproduces by seeds (when pollinators are present) and vegetatively from stem fragments.
- Seeds, if produced, may be dispersed by wind, water, internally by rodents and other animals that consume the pods, externally by euglossine bees, and through intentional cultivation by people.
- Prolific seed production possible where natural pollinators are present.
Low Risk Traits:
- Valued, and widely cultivated commercial crop, with no reports of negative impacts where naturalized.
- Unarmed (no spines, thorns, or burrs).
- Seed set in the Hawaiian Islands, and in other locations where the natural pollinators are absent, is rare or does not occur without manual pollination.
- Absence, or rarity, of seed production reduces risk of accidental or long-distance dispersal.