Plant types and subtypes: Grasses, Perennials, Wetland Grasses, Evergreens
Light Requirements: sun
Water Use: high
Soil Moisture: wet
Soil Description: rich, average, poor, clay, sand
Bloom Color: yellow, green, brown
Leaf Color: green, lime-green
Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6
Additional Tags: bog plant, colonizing, edible, emergent, evergreen, fragrant plant, fragrant root, medicinal, ornamental foliage, pond margin plant, showy fruit, stream margin plant, swamp plant, water garden plant, wetland plant
Pricing & Availability
Acorus americanusAlso known as:
Acorus calamus var. americanus
Acorus americanus is an emergent wetland plant (the base and roots remain submerged while the plant grows above water). The bright green, sword-like leaves have a lemony, spicy scent when crushed. They emerge directly from the plant's rhizomes and grow to an approximate height of 4 feet. The actual flowers are inconspicuous but appear on a thick, fleshy cylindrical axis known a a spadix, protruding sideways from a blade-like stalk.
Sweetflag is better adapted to cold climates and can be found from Virginia to well within the arctic circle. This is a wetland plant who's roots need to remain consistently wet. It can be planted on the margin of a water feature, or submerged in up to 20" of water. The medium height of Acorus americanus make it well suited as a background plant for for small, home garden ponds; though it s best to keep individual specimens in containers to prevent them from colonizing. Blooms as early as May and as late as August, depending on geographic location. Zones 3-6
Easy to propagate by division of the fleshy rhizomes, which can reach several feet in length. May also be propagated from seed.
Though Acorus calamus is a commonly used synonym, it is a distinct Eurasian species that can be distinguished for having only the midvein prominently raised above the leaf surface, rather than all veins in the American species. Both however, have long been consumed for their aromatic and medicinal properties. The dried roots and leaves exude a spicy, citrusy aroma and can be added to potpourri.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
CT, DC, DE, IA, ID, IL, IN, MA, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SD, VA, VT, WA, WI
USDA Endangered Status:
- Endangered: PA