Common Name: Vanilla leaf
Achlys triphylla is a herbaceous perennial plant with a slender, long-creeping rhizome producing at intervals a small cluster of leaves and a flowering stem. It grows 20 - 40cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and insect repellant.
Western N. America - British Columbia to California.
Coniferous forests, usually in mountainous regions, at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
A woodland plant, it requires a position in semi-shade and a humus-rich soil[
This is the only species in the family Berberidaceae that is wind-pollinated[
The plant was used by native North Americans to treat a number of health problems, though it is little used in modern herbalism[
An infusion of the leaves was used in the treatment of tuberculosis and as an emetic[
An infusion of the dry shredded roots was used to treat cataracts[
The leaves have been dried and hung in houses to repel flies and mosquitoes[
A decoction of the plant has been used as a furniture and floor wash to get rid of lice, bedbugs and other household pests[
An infusion of the leaves has been used as a hair wash[
Seed - we have no information for this species, bu it is probably best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady part of a cold frame. If stored seed is used, it should be sown as soon as it is received. Germination can be erratic. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady part of a greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions during autumn or early winter.
Division should be possible in early spring or just after flowering.