Achlys triphylla
Vanilla Leaf (5659254875).jpg
Achlys triphylla (Rood Bridge Park, Hillsboro, Oregon)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Achlys
A. triphylla
Binomial name
Achlys triphylla
(Sm.) DC.

Leontice triphylla Smith in A. Rees

Achlys triphylla, common names sweet after death, deer-foot or vanilla-leaf, is a plant species native to the mountains of the West Coast of North America. It has been reported from the Cascades and from the Coast Ranges in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and northern California, at elevations of up to 1500 m (5000 feet).[2]

Achlys triphylla is an herb up to 40 cm (16 inches) tall. It has trifoliate leaves and small white flowers.[3][4]

Medicinal uses

Multiple Pacific Northwest tribes use the leaves in an infusion drink for tuberculosis. One Lummi informant said the whole plant was mashed and soaked in water, which was drunk as an emetic.[5]


  1. ^ The Plant List
  2. ^ Flora of North America vol 3
  3. ^ Fukuda, I. 1967. The biosystematics of Achlys. Taxon 16: 308-316
  4. ^ Fukuda, I. and H.G. Baker. 1970. Achlys californica (Berberidaceae), a new species. Taxon 19: 341-344.
  5. ^ "Ethnobotany of Western Washington" by Erna Gunther. page 31
Achlys triphylla flower spike.

External links