Berberidaceae
Achlys triphylla

Vanilla Leaf

Spreading by underground roots, 3 fan-shaped, coarsely toothed leaflets at top of 4–15 in. stems. Central leaflet divided into 3 lobes. Leaves horizontal. Stem single, longer than leaf, holds spike of small white flowers with long stamens giving a starry look. Berries reddish purple. Similar A. californica, deer foot, has 6–8 lobes on central leaflet, and brown berries. Called vanilla leaf for the sweet smell of the dried leaves.

  • Rarity: Common
  • Flowering Time: Early Spring-Mid Summer
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Height: 8--16 inches
  • Habitat: Coastal, West-Side Forest
  • Found In: Olympic NP, Mt. Rainier NP, N Cascades NP, Crater Lake NP, Siskiyous, West Gorge
  • Native: Yes