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  • Deer Tongue is aptly named for its leaves

Deer Tongue


Deer Tongue is a perennial herb 


Deer Tongue is a great grass for water gardens where the soils are always moist.  This grass loves moist soils and full sunlight.  Deer Tongue can grow to be around 3 to 5 feet tall and will grow to full height in one season.  The Deer Tongue is also called Dichanthelium Clandestinum by the scientific name.  Deer Tongue will grow best where the climates are warm and will grow very well around coastal regions.


Scientific Name: Dichanthelium clandestinum, Deer Tongue 

This plant gets its name because it looks like a deer tongue. It has two different sections with a split in the middle. It is long, narrow and thick with another piece in the center. The leaves can grow up to 8 inches long and a mere 2 inches wide. The upper part of the leaves and lower part looks the same. They both are dark green and shiny. 

USDA Climate Zone: Warm, coastal regions

Mature Height: 3-5 feet

Mature Width: 6 inches

Growth/Year: 3-5 feet

Soil Type: Sandy, wet soil

Sun: Full

Deer Tongue is also known as Dog-tongue and Vanilla Plant 

Deer Tongue is apty named for its size and shape. Native to the southern coastal regions from North Carolina to Florida, deer tongue is a deciduous herb which grows quickly and produces tiny purple flowers on tall spikes June through August. The leaves are harvested and dried for use primarily in tobacco products, but the dried deer tongue leaves are also used for medicinal purposes and as an aromatic room freshener.