Vanilla Plant - Characteristics, Description, Morphology And Classification

Description Of Vanilla Plants

Vanilla plant is an annual crop which belongs to the orchid species of the Orchidaceae (family) tribe which has many species  (more than 1500 species). Vanilla plants have a lot of benefits.

Vanilla (Vanilla Planifolia) is a vanilla-producing crop which is usually used as food fragrances.

This powder is produced from the pod-shaped fruit.

Vanilla plants are known for the first time by Indians in Mexico, the country of origin of the plant. Regional name of vanilla is Panili or Perneli.

The vanilla flower that has bloomed can only last one day. If the flower has bloomed it not immediately mated, will wither and then fall out. Therefore, you must often around the garden to control the development of vanilla.

 Vanilla plant (Vanilla planifolia Andrews or Vanilla fragrans) historically, this annual plant grows more fertile and more productive in a tropical climate, compared with their home country (Mexico) and the original vanilla producing country.

A. Characteristics Of Vanilla Plant

Vanilla Plant - Characteristics, Description, Morphology And Classification


The vanilla plant stems about the size of a finger, green color, rather soft. The average length of 15 cm. Plants are attached to trees or milestone that has been provided.


Vanilla leaf is a single leaf. Its location is intermittent in each book.

The color is bright green, with a length of 10-25 cm and a width of 5-7 cm. Flat leaf shape, fleshy, ovoid, or lanceolate with a pointed tip.

Leaf bone is parallel, looked after the leaves are old or dries, while at the leaf is still young not clearly visible.


The vanilla flower arrangement is a cluster of flowers consisting of 15-20 flowers. Flowers out of leaf axillary the top of the stem. The shape of the flowers sit, colored green-blue rather pale, 4-8 cm long and smells rather fragrant.

When the flower blooms, long will fruit 2-4 cm with a 5 mm diameter. The vanilla flower consists of 6 leaves of flowers (3 sepals, 3 petals) which is located in two circles.

Leaves of the outer flower (sepal) slightly larger rather than the inside of the petal. One of his petals changed shape, rolled like a funnel called the lips (rostellum).


The roots of vanilla plants have its own uniqueness when compared with other plant species. This plant has 2 kinds of roots which will come out of every stem segment, first commonly called with hanging roots and the second is the root that is arranged in the ground.
  1. Root Hanging, because of this root type always firmly attached at the place of propagation and hanging in the air. This root for not touching anything will grow sideways. New to touch something will wrap itself to hold on.
  2. Roots arranged in the soil. Its characteristics are is a short root with its length approximately 1 meter and thickness approximately 3 mm, whitish color, These roots grow to creep coated surface, so do not down a depth of land, therefore called semi-terrestrial.


Fruit pods, soft, The color of the fruit is initially light green, then dark green accompanied by yellow stripes before the cook.

Fruit that has been mature a colored dark brown. If left to cook in a tree, the fruit will break into two parts, and spread the scent of vanilla.

This fruit has a line, three angled and straight lengthwise, other than that in every fruit will produce the seeds inside about 5-10 seeds even more with a shiny black color, hard, and round shaped flat or oval sized approximately 0.2 mm.

B. Content of Vanilla Plant Substances

Vanilla Plant - Characteristics, Description, Morphology And Classification
Typical flavor components of vanilla seeds are vanillin (4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde) which is a crystalline phenolic aldehyde, with a percentage of 85% of volatile compounds contained in the vanilla fruit.

The amount of vanillin content is the most important parameter to assess Vanilli's quality. The other component is p-hydroxy benzaldehyde (up to 9%) and p-hydroxy benzyl metal ether (1%).

Besides that, special for vanilla Tahiti has a different flavor due to additional components ie piperonal (heliotropin, 3,4-dioxymethylene benzaldehyde) and diasetil (butandion).

In addition to the precursors and flavor-forming enzymes, vanilla fruit contains a complete nutrient component which cover proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

According to de Guzman and Siemonsma (1999), per 100 g weight dried vanilli fruit vanilla planifolia Andrews, containing 20 g of water, 3-5 g protein, 11 g fat, 7-9 g sugar, 15 to 10 g of ash, 1.5 to 3 g of vanillin, 2 g of soft resin and unflavored vanillic acids.

C. Benefits of Vanilla

Vanilla is more often used to make the aroma and taste on cakes, puddings, or other sweet foods. The following is useful or Benefits of vanilla plants:

Reduce appetite

The vanilla aroma will make you eat less. This is due to the vanilla scent that 'deceives' the brain. The aroma makes the brain think if you have eaten more from the truth.

So, there's nothing wrong to inhale vanilla before eating, to help control appetite.

Insect repellent

Vanilla can also be utilized to repel insects. Mosquito
very unbearable with the smell of vanilla, so you can make vanilla as an insect spraying agent a safe within the house.

To make it

just mix two ounces of vanilla extract with two ounces of water in a small spray bottle.

You also have an insect repellent which is fragrant and safe.

Home fragrances

To make the house seem warm, the fragrance of the room should also be considered. No need to use artificial room fragrances made of chemicals.

Take advantage of vanilla aromatherapy oil. Burn the oil for a few minutes. Or, you can mix the oil with water
in a spray bottle. Then, spray around the corner of the room of the house.

Softens skin

Vanilla contains high antioxidants. Some dermatologists use vanilla to protect the skin from toxins. You can make your own facial cleanser made from vanilla powder.

D. Scientific Classification Of Vanilla Plants

Scientific classification is how to biologists grouping and categorizing species from extinct organisms as well as living ones, Classification (grouping) is a way of sorting and categorize living things into a particular group or unit.

The order of classification of living things from highest to lowest (which is now used) is Domain, Kingdom, Phylum or Phylum (animal) / Division (plant), Classis (Class), Order (The), family (Ethnic), Genus (Marga), and Species (Type).

The purpose of the classification of living things is to make it easier to recognize, compare, and studying living things.

Comparing means looking for similarities and differences between nature or characteristics of living things.

  • Kingdom (The World / Kingdom): Plantae
  • Subkingdom: Tacheobionta (Vascular Plant)
  • Superdivision: Spermatophyta (Produce seeds)
  • Divisio (Division): Magnoliopsida (Flowering Plants)
  • Classis (Class): Liliopsida (double-dikotil)
  • Sub Class: Liliidae
  • Order (Nation): Orchidales
  • Familia (Tribe): Orchidaceae (orchid - aggrecan)
  • Genus (Marga): Vanilla
  • Species (Type): Vanilla planifolia

Such is the introduction of medicinal plants vanilla which includes vanilla features, vanilla classification, the content of vanilla substances or nutrients as well as vanilla benefits as a medicinal plant.