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Carolina-Vanilla

Trilisa odoratissima (Walt.) Cass.

Carolina-vanilla
Figure 34.—Carolina-vanilla (Trilisa odoratissima)
Synonym.Liatris odoratissima Michx.

Other common names.—Deertongue, vanilla leaf, vanilla plant, dog's-tongue, houndstongue.

Habitat and range.—Carolina-vanilla is found in dry or wet pine barrens from southeastern Virginia to North Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana.

Description.—This is a stout erect herb 2 to 3 feet high with smooth, thick, entire leaves 4 to 10 inches long and 1 to 1% inches wide. In August to September the small purple flowers are borne, 5 to 10 in a head, in branched, rather flat-topped clusters. The leaves, especially when bruised, have a characteristic odor of vanilla.

Part used.—This plant, while of minor importance as a drug plant, is included here because large quantities of the leaves are used in the flavoring of tobacco.


Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update March 18, 1998 by aw