Vanilla planifolia is a shrubby, climbing, aerial parasite, growing in the clefts of rocks, or attaching itself to the trunks of trees. It suspends itself to continguous objects, and is truly an aerial plant. The stem is round, about as thick as the finger, from twenty to thirty feet in length, and oftener thicker at the summit than at the base. The leaves are alternate, oblong, entire, on short petioles, green, fleshy, and pointed by a species of abortive tendril. The flowers are yellowish white. The fruit is a species of bean, yellow or buff color, of an agreeable aromatic odor; the beans must be dried with care or they will lose their properties.