Carolina-Vanilla. Trilisa odoratissima (Walt.) Cass.

Figure 34.—Carolina-vanilla (Trilisa odoratissima)


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.


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.