This leafy climbing orchid from hot, wet tropical America is grown for its pods which, when dried, become the commercial vanilla. The flowers are hand pollinated. The Aztec Indians in Mexico used Vanilla Pods to flavor their chocolate drink 'Xoco-latl'. Vanilla was introduced to Europe, and French started to grow it in Africa. Vanilla Pods are picked green when they have no scent. The lengthy curing process, which develops fragrant aroma, is one reason for its high cost. Vanilla was believed to be a tonic for the brain. They need a large pot and support for climbing. If really happy, Vanilla planifolia can exceed 100 feet in length in just a few years. They flower only when mature, which takes a few years. Propagated generally by cutting. Plant becomes Epiphytic with age. Water freely, less water in winter.