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Sweet Flag Acorus calamus

Description

Easily grown in boggy wet conditions with water not more than 2 to 3 inches deep.  Plant rhizomes below the surface at the water's edge or in containers to prevent any weedy spread.  It appreciates afternoon shade, especially in hot southern summers.  Leaves and rhizomes are sweetly scented when crushed, hence the common name.  It is grown primarily as an accent or specimen foliage plant in pond or water gardens but it can be found in low spots, naturalized, or woodland areas as long as high soil moisture is maintained.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.  Leaf scorch can occur if soils are not kept consistently moist.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Acorus calamus 'Aureovariegatus'
  • Acorus calamus 'Variegatus'
    Striped with white and green
Tags:
#water garden#rain garden#heavy shade#container plant#deep shade#shade tolerant#fragrant leaves#boggy#erosion control#water plant#wet sites#fragrant roots#naturalizes
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Acorus calamus 'Aureovariegatus'
  • Acorus calamus 'Variegatus'
    Striped with white and green
Tags:
#water garden#rain garden#heavy shade#container plant#deep shade#shade tolerant#fragrant leaves#boggy#erosion control#water plant#wet sites#fragrant roots#naturalizes
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acorus
    Species:
    calamus
    Family:
    Acoraceae
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe
    Distribution:
    North America, particularly NE and Central
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Tree
    Water Plant
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    Fleshy
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Insignificant
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Late spring, not showy, greenish flowers appear in elongated spadixes 2-4" without showy spathes.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Iris-like sword-shaped leaves 3/4" wide growing in basal clumps and reaching more than 30" tall. One margin of the leaf is wavy and it has a prominent mid-rib. Sweet fragrance when bruised.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Erosion
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy