Vanilla Facts

Vanilla is a member of the orchid family, the largest and oldest family of flowering plants in the world. Vanilla is the only edible fruit of the entire orchid family, which includes roughly 25,000 orchid varieties and over 10,000 hybrids. It grows best in the moist, tropical regions of the world 15-1/2 degrees to the north and south of the Equator. It is an herbaceous climbing vine which requires a supporting tree or pole for optimal growth. It bears trumpet-shaped flowers which are naturally pollinated by bees and humming birds and even hand pollinate. Because of its unique flavor it is found used in ice cream and gives every kind of food, from chocolate bars to lobster, richness and depth.

Name Vanilla
Scientific Name Vanilla planifolia
Native Mesoamerica – Mexico and Guatemala
Common/English Name Bali Vanilla, Bourbon Vanilla, Commercial Vanilla, Common Vanilla, Flat-Leaved Vanilla, Indian Ocean Vanilla, Indonesian Vanilla, Java Vanilla, Mauritius Vanilla, Mexican Vanilla, Seychelles Vanilla, Tahitian Vanilla, West Indian Vanilla, Vanilla, Vanilla Vine.
Name in Other Languages Amharic : Vanila
Arabic : Al-Fanilya
Armenian : Vanil
Basque : Bainila
Belarusian : Vaniĺ
Brazil : Baunilha
Bulgarian : Vanilia
Chinese : Fan Ni Lan, Hsaing Ts’ao Lan, Xiang Cao, Xiang Cao Dou, Xiang Jia Lan, Xiang Lan, Xiang Zi Lan, Wahn Nei La
Columbia : Bejuquillo, Bejuquillo, Vainilla
Croatian: Vanilija
Cuba : Cuyanquillo, Flor Negra, Lombricera
Czech : Vanilka, Vanilka Pravá, Vanilovník Plocholistý
Danish : Ægte Vanilje, Vanilje, Vanille
Dutch : Vanielje, Vanieljesoort, Vanille
Eastonian : Harilik Vanill
Esperanto : Vanilo
Farsi : Vanil
Finnish : Vanilja
French : Vanille Bourbon, Vanille D’indonésie, Vanille Des Seychelles, Vanille Du Méxique, Vanillier, Vanille, Vrai Vanillier
Frisian : Fanylej, Fanille
Gaelic : Faoineag
Georgian : Vanili
German : Echte Vanille, Gewürzvanille, Große Vanille, Vanille
Greek : Vanilia, Vanillia
Hebrew : Vanil
Hungarian : Vanília
Icelandic : Vanilla
India :

  • Bengali: Bhenila
  • Hindu: Vanilla
  • Kannada: Vyanilla, Venila
  • Maithili: Bhenila
  • Malayalam: Vanila
  • Punjabi: Vanile
  • Tamil:  Vanikkodi,Vanila

Indonesia : Panili ( Javanese, Sundanese )
Irish : Fanaile
Italian: Vaniglia
Japanese : Banira, wanira
Kazakh : Vanil
Korean : Panilla
Latvian : Smaržīgā Vaniļa, Vanilla
Lithuanian : Vanilė, Kvapioji Vanilė
Macedonian : Vanila
Malaysia : Panili, Anggrek Panili
Maltese : Vanilja
Mexico : Tilisúchil, Tilisóchil, Tilijuche, Tiljuche, Tilsúchil, Tilsóchil, Tlilsóchil, Tlilxóchitl ( Mayan) , Segnexanté, Vainilla, Vainilla De
Papantla, Semenquete, Vainilla Mansa ( Spanish )
Nepal : Bhenila ( Nepali ), Bhenila ( Nepalbhasa )
Norwegian : Vanilje;
Persia : Vanil ( Farsi )
Philippines : Vanilia ( Tagalog)
Polish : Wanilia, Wanilia Płaskolistna
Portuguese : Baunilha, Baunilheira
Romanian : Vanilie
Russian : Vanil’, Vanil’nyi, Vanil’ Ploskolistnaia
Serbian: Vanila
Slovak : Vanilka
Slovašcinan : Vanilija
Spanish : Vainilla, Vainillero, Vainillero De Flores Aromáticas, vainilla tlilxóchil
Sri Lanka : Vanila (Sinhala)
Swahili : Lavani
Swedish: Vanilj
Thai : Wanila, Waanilaa
Turkish : Vanilya
Ukrainian : Vanil
Yiddish : Vanil

Plant Growth Habit Succulent, herbaceous, perennial vine climbing trees
Growing Climate Humid, evergreen tropical forest and watershed areas climbing up trees
Soil Thrives in friable, well drained, loamy soil rich in organic matter
Plant Size 12–15 m
Root Long adventitious roots
Stem Cylindrical long 1–2 cm diameter, dark green simple or branched
Leaf Alternate, fleshy and sub-sessile. Lamina flat, oblong-elliptical to lanceolate 8–25 × 5–8 cm, apex acute to acuminate
Flower Sepals and petals erect-spreading, yellow-green, fleshy, rigid; sepals 3 – oblanceolate, 3.5–5.5 × 1.1–1.3 cm, margins straight, apex acute to obtuse; petals elliptic-oblanceolate, abaxially keeled, thinner than sepals, 3.5–5.5 × 1.1–1.3 cm, apex acute to obtuse; lip adnate to column for 1.5–2 cm, yellow-green, becoming dark yellow toward apex, lamina gullet-like, cuneate, rhomboid, with apical retuse lobule; disc with central tuft of retrorse scales, an hairy to apex; column white, slender, 3–3.5 cm, margins slightly sinuate, adaxially bearded; pollinia – 2, yellow; ovary pedicellate, 3–5 cm.
Fruit Shape & Size Pendulous, narrow cylindrical capsule, 10–25 cm by 0.8–1.5 cm, obscurely 3 angled splitting longitudinally when ripe.
Fruit Color Green when young turning to dark brown as they mature
Seed Numerous, globose, 0.4 mm diameter and black.
Varieties/Types
  • Bourbon/Madagascar Vanilla
  • Indonesian Vanilla
  • Mexican Vanilla
  • West Indian Vanilla
  • Tahitian Vanilla
Major Nutrition Manganese, Mn 0.478 mg (20.78%)
Carbohydrate 26.31 g (20.24%)
Copper, Cu 0.15 mg (16.67%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.198 mg (15.23%)
Potassium, K 308 mg (6.55%)
Magnesium, Mg 25 mg (5.95%)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.884 mg (5.53%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.054 mg (4.15%)
Iron, Fe 0.25 mg (3.13%)
Calcium, Ca 23 mg (2.30%)
Health Benefits
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-ageing Benefits
  • Anti-depressant
  • Relieve Pain
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Soothes Burns
  • Anti-cancer
  • Promotes Healthy Skin
  • Beneficial for Children
  • Good for digestion
  • Boost Cognitive Actions and Mental Health
  • Treatment of Anxiety
  • Increased libido
  • Treatment of Cough
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Dental Health
  • Treatment of Acne
  • Aids Weight Loss
  • Relieves Nausea
  • Treatment of Menstrual Problems
  • Aids Wound Healing
  • Repels Mosquitoes and Bugs
Calories in 1 cup (208 gm) 599 k cal