Roots usually 1 per node, aerial portions 1-2 mm diam. Stems occasionally branched, leafy, thick, 8-12 mm diam., smooth. Leaves persistent; blade oblong-elliptic, flat, equal to or shorter than internodes, to 15 × 2.5-5 cm, fleshy-leathery, tapering to acute apex. Inflorescences axillary, 12-flowered racemes, short-pedunculate, ± to 8 cm excluding peduncle; floral bracts foliaceous, ovate, cucullate, to 2.5 × 1.5 cm, fleshy. Flowers: sepals and petals spreading, green, fleshy, rigid; sepals narrowly oblanceolate, 7-9 × 1.3-2 cm, margins straight, apex obtuse to acute, spreading; petals obliquely narrowly oblanceolate, abaxially keeled, thinner than sepals, 6.5-8 ×1-1.5 cm, apex acute to subacuminate; lip adnate to column for 3 cm, white becoming yellow-cream toward apex, lamina gulletlike, cuneate, obovate, clawed, obscurely 3-lobed distally, to 7.5-9 × 3.5-4 cm when spread, lateral lobes arching over column, margins involute, apex rounded, middle lobe broadly subquadrangular, margins undulate, apex retuse; disc with multiple longitudinal ribs, central tuft of retrorse scales, thickened broad rib extending from tuft to apex; column curved distal to middle, white, slender, 6.5 cm, adaxially bearded; pollinia yellow; pedicellate ovary 4-8 cm. Berries cylindric, 8-10 × 1 cm. Flowering Apr--Jul. Cypress swamps, hammocks; 0--20 m; Fla.; West Indies (Trinidad). Vanilla phaeantha is known in the flora area only from Collier County, Florida (P. M. Brown 2002).