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2. Expansion of cultuvation

fleur du vanillier


In the early nineteenth century, plants were sent to Java, Reunion, and Mauritius to attempt to cultivate the precious vanilla but in the absence of natural pollination by an insect endemic to Mexico, cultivation proved impossible on these islands.

Artificial pollination of the vanilla plant was first achieved in 1836 by Charles Morren at the Botanical Garden of Liege then in 1837 by the Frenchman, Neumann. However, in 1841, a young slave, Edmond Albius, invented the method which is still used today.

Vanilla cultivation then spread to Reunion Island (better known then as "Bourbon Island") in 1848, the Seychelles in 1866, Madagascar in 1871, Comoros in 1891, Tahiti in 1898, and Uganda and Ceylon in 1912. 


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