(Image courtesy of Walter Seigmund at Wikipedia)
Also known as vanilla leaf, the sweet after death plant is a member of the barberry family of plants. It is native to the
and is botanically known as Achlys triphylla. United States
Sweet After Death Description
Growing under eight inches tall, this is a perennial spreading ground cover. There are large leaves and tiny whitish flowers clustered on spikes. There are patches of stalks. Leaflets are fan-shaped. Flowers are bisexual. There is a slight vanilla fragrance to the dried plants. Bloom season is between April and July.
Sweet after death prefers to grow in partial shade or full shade in moist rich soils. It should be propagated by seed or by division of the roots.
This native is found in the states of
California, Oregon, and . It is seen in stream banks and moist forests. Washington
Native Americans have used sweet after death as an emetic, a hair wash, and a treatment for tuberculosis. The leaves were used in preparations for these remedies. The roots were dried and shredded, made into an infusion, and this used for a cataract treatment.
Other uses have been to dry the plant and hang for a mosquito and fly repellent. Decoctions of the plant can be used as a floor wash and furniture was for bedbugs and lice. The hair wash was made from an infusion of the leaves.
Kingdom - Plantae– Plants
Subkingdom - Tracheobionta– Vascular plants
Superdivision - Spermatophyta– Seed plants
Division - Magnoliophyta– Flowering plants
Class - Magnoliopsida– Dicotyledons
Subclass - Magnoliidae
Order - Ranunculales
Family - Berberidaceae– Barberry family
Genus - Achlys DC.– achlys
Species - Achlys triphylla (Sm.) DC.– sweet after death
Source: NPIN, PlantsDatabase, Plants for a Future