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Carphephorus odoratissimus, commonly known as Vanilla Plant or Vanillaleaf, is a delightful native perennial prized for its aromatic foliage, delicate flowers, and adaptability to various growing conditions.


Carphephorus odoratissimus is a herbaceous perennial that typically grows to heights of 1 to 3 feet tall with a similar spread. It features erect stems adorned with lance-shaped leaves that are dark green and emit a pleasant vanilla-like fragrance when crushed or brushed against. In late summer to early fall, the plant produces clusters of small, white to pinkish-purple flowers with a daisy-like appearance, attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies. These flowers add a touch of charm to borders, meadows, and naturalized areas.

Growing Conditions:

- Thrives in well-drained soil with moderate fertility.

- Prefers full sun to partial shade, though it can tolerate some shade.

- Hardy in USDA zones 8-11, making it adaptable to a wide range of climates.

- Drought-tolerant once established but benefits from occasional watering during prolonged dry spells.


- Deadhead spent flowers regularly to prolong blooming and prevent self-seeding.

- Cut back the plant by one-third in late winter or early spring to promote fresh growth and maintain a tidy appearance.

- Mulch around the base of the plant to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.

- Fertilize lightly in spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to support healthy growth.

Wildlife Attraction:

- The flowers of Carphephorus odoratissimus are highly attractive to pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other insects, enhancing biodiversity in the garden.

- Provides a nectar source for beneficial insects and pollinators, contributing to the ecological value of the landscape.

- The aromatic foliage may help deter certain pests and attract beneficial insects, making it a valuable addition to organic gardens.

FL Paintbrush, Carphephorus odoratissium

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