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Saururus cernuus

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Ground Covers

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: high

Soil Moisture: wet

Soil Description: acid, average, clay, sand

Height: 1'-4'

Bloom Time: April, May, June, July, August, September

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Additional Tags: attracts birds, bog plant, clumping, colonizing, deer resistant, emergent, fragrant flowers, fragrant plant, fragrant root, mat-forming, medicinal, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, poisonous, pond margin plant, stream margin plant, swamp plant, water garden plant, wetland plant

Saururus cernuus (lizard's tail)
  • Saururus cernuus (lizard's tail)
  • Saururus cernuus (lizard's tail)
  • Saururus cernuus (lizard's tail)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Saururus cernuus

Also known as:

lizard's tail

,

breast weed

,

water dragon

,

swamp lily

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Saururus cernuus produces dense, mounding plants made up of heart-shaped leaves up to 6" long, arranged on zigzagging, branching stems. When grown unrestrained, plants will grow to a height of 4', but are typically shorter in cultivation. the tiny white flowers are fragrant and appear on drooping, 6" long terminal racemes that resemble a lizard's tail, hence the common name.

Cultivation

Lizard's tail is a marginal, aquatic perennial. It can be grown as an attractive containerized specimen in a pond or water garden, or be left to naturalize in a large enough setting. It can be found growing in marshes, swamps, bogs, stream margins, and freshwater wetlands in full sun, as well well as under rather dense tree cover. It should be planted in soil that is consistently wet, or may be submerged up to a depth of 4". It will spread by rhizomes to form dense colonies. Zones 4-10

Propagation

Propagate by division, or root cuttings.

Additional Notes

All parts of the plant emit a light citrusy fragrance, particularly when bruised or crushed. The scientific genus Saururus is derived from the Greek word saurus, meaning lizard-like. This is another reference to the flower's appearance. Both the roots and leaves have been known to have anti-inflammatory properties, but should also be considered toxic if ingested in large quantities.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: CT, RI

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae
Order Piperales
Family Saururaceae Lizard's-tail family
Genus Saururus saururus
Species Saururus cernuus lizard's tail