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Useful Temperate Plants

Achlys triphylla

(Sm.) DC.

Berberidaceae

+ Synonyms

Leontice triphylla Sm.

Common Name: Vanilla leaf

Achlys triphylla
Flowering plant
Photograph by: Walter Siegmund
Creative Commons License
Achlys triphylla Achlys triphylla Achlys triphylla Achlys triphylla Achlys triphylla

General Information

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.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
280
Title
The Genus Epimedium and other Herbaceous Berberidaceae
Publication
 
Author
Stearn. W. T.
Publisher
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Year
2002
ISBN
1 84246 039 0
Description
An excellent book covering all the herbaceous members of the Berberidaceae. Gives cultivation details as well as detailed botanical descriptions. Very well illustrated with photographs, paintings and line drawings.

Range

Western N. America - British Columbia to California.

Habitat

Coniferous forests, usually in mountainous regions, at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.30 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


A woodland plant, it requires a position in semi-shade and a humus-rich soil[
280
Title
The Genus Epimedium and other Herbaceous Berberidaceae
Publication
 
Author
Stearn. W. T.
Publisher
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Year
2002
ISBN
1 84246 039 0
Description
An excellent book covering all the herbaceous members of the Berberidaceae. Gives cultivation details as well as detailed botanical descriptions. Very well illustrated with photographs, paintings and line drawings.
].
This is the only species in the family Berberidaceae that is wind-pollinated[
280
Title
The Genus Epimedium and other Herbaceous Berberidaceae
Publication
 
Author
Stearn. W. T.
Publisher
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Year
2002
ISBN
1 84246 039 0
Description
An excellent book covering all the herbaceous members of the Berberidaceae. Gives cultivation details as well as detailed botanical descriptions. Very well illustrated with photographs, paintings and line drawings.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The plant was used by native North Americans to treat a number of health problems, though it is little used in modern herbalism[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

An infusion of the leaves was used in the treatment of tuberculosis and as an emetic[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

An infusion of the dry shredded roots was used to treat cataracts[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Other Uses

The leaves have been dried and hung in houses to repel flies and mosquitoes[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

A decoction of the plant has been used as a furniture and floor wash to get rid of lice, bedbugs and other household pests[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

An infusion of the leaves has been used as a hair wash[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Propagation

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.

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