Vanilla, is a fleshy perennial vine in the family Orchidaceae. Grown for its pods and seeds which are used as a flavoring. The vanilla plant has a long succulent stem and grows by wrapping around trees. The vine has alternate, fleshy oblong or lanceolate leaves which are rounded at the base. The plant produces flowers on short racemes, each possessing 6–15 flowers, and fruits which take the form of narrow, cylindrical pods (or beans), each possessing many small black seeds. Plant can reach a height of 10–15 m (33–49 ft) in height and has an economic lifespan of approximately 10 years. The plant is native to Central America.
Vanilla extract is obtained from this portion of the plant.