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American Swamp Lily Saururus cernuus

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
saw-roo-rus SER-new-us
Description

The common name Lizard's Tail comes from the appearance of the flowers and later the fruit. This plant occurs in swamps and shallow water and can be planted on the pond's edges or in the water (in containers). Plant in 2 to 5-gallon containers. This plant will form large colonies over time and can be propagated by seed or root division. The flowers, leaves and roots of this plant have a sassafrass or citrus aroma. Emergent wetland plant. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Major insect pests or disease issues do not really occur with this plant.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#white#showy flowers#deciduous#full sun tolerant#water garden#rain garden#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#perennials#white flowers#wildlife plants#showy#native perennials#piedmont#shade garden#spring flowers#riparian#ducks#fall interest#wetlands#standing water#water plant#stream banks#pond margins#food source#aggressive#NC native#wood ducks#spreading#perennial flowers#summer flowers#deer resistant#swamps#pond#native garden#mountains#floodplain#colonies#green fruits#fruits fall#rhizomatous#naturalizes#summer interest#spring interest#native wildflower#marshes#fruits summer#food source summer#cover#forb#food source fall#citrus fragrance#pond edge#Coastal OBL#Piedmont Mountains OBL#sandy soils tolerant#wet soils tolerant#loamy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#food source hard mast fruit#waterfowl#wetland margins#partial shade tolerant#flood tolerant#shade flowers#bog gardens#audubon#heavy shade tolerant#coastal plant#partial sun tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Saururus
    Species:
    cernuus
    Family:
    Saururaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North American (eastern)
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant provides cover for wood ducks.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Water Plant
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    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 Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Green and looks like a wart. In North Carolina, the fruits are available from August to November.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Long, narrow racemes opposite a leaf of nodding 4-6" (they can get as long as 12") spikes. These flowers' tips droop. The white flowers are on the small side, but they are fragrant and a bit showy. In North Carolina, the flowers are available from May to September.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Deltoid
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    3-6" bright green, lance-shaped to triangular with heart-shaped base. Palmately veined.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Description:
    Erect, zig-zag stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Shade Garden
    Water Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Heavy Shade
    Insect Pests
    Wet Soil