It is a species of orchid known for being the primary source of natural vanilla flavor. It is native to regions in Central and South America, including Mexico. Vanilla planifolia is famous for its unique and intricate flowers and for producing long, bean-like pods that contain aromatic seeds. These seeds are used to create vanilla extract, a popular flavoring in cooking and baking.
Cultivating Vanilla planifolia involves providing the orchid with a warm and humid environment, along with support for its climbing vines. The plant requires proper care to thrive and produce vanilla beans. This makes it a favorite among those who enjoy growing orchids and extracting their own vanilla flavor.