Vanilla planifolia is a species of climbing orchid native to Mexico and Belize and belongs to the genus Vanilla. The first name of the plant appeared in 1808, and in 1887 its illustration could be seen in the German book "Köhler's Medicinal Plants". Today, Vanilla planifolia is an endangered species, as its natural habitat is changing.
Flat-Leaved Vanilla can be identified by its long vine, growing up to a record 98 ft (30 m) in length, with strong and deep roots that make it comfortable in trees or other tall structures. The leaves, up to 5 in (15 cm) long, are thick, oval in shape, shiny in texture, and pointed at the tips.
The flowers are yellow or green in color and bloom for only one day.
An adult plant has banana-shaped pods that ripen after five months and are used to obtain the vanilla extract.