It was in 1848 that Admiral Hamelin imported Vanilla Aromatica plants to Tahiti. Two years later, Admiral Bonnard imported Vanilla Fragrans plants.

The two species were skilfully crossed to obtain the most appreciated and most cultivated variety in Tahiti: Vanilla X Tahitensis.

Large-scale cultivation began in 1880, and was practiced in most of the high islands and especially the Leeward Islands.