Vanilla africana is a succulent-stemmed, perennial climbing plant, producing a long stem. The plant grows into trees, supporting itself by means of aerial roots that are produced from the stem nodes. It is often epiphytic, or becomes epiphytic as the lower portion of the stem withers and dies[
The plant is sometimes used locally as a source of fibre and medicines.
West tropical Africa - Guinea to Gabon.
Primary and secondary forests, dense shrubby vegetation and in plantations at elevations from sea level up to 900 metres[
The heated leaves are pounded with a capsicum pepper and the sap is applied into the ear to cure inflammation[
Boiled leaves are put between two mats on which a woman suffering from a painful menstruation has to lay face-down to get relief[
The aerial roots are used as strings for a number of stringed instruments such as guitars in Ghana and Gabon and mandolins in DR Congo[
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