Home Prairie and Wetland Center
16245 South Hwy. 71
Belton, MO 64012
Tel: (816) 331-9738
Fax: (816) 331-9739

Acorus calamus

Sweet Flag

Click here for print friendly version.
Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag)

Sweet flag is a deciduous, spreading, marginal aquatic perennial that features iris-like, sword-shaped leaf blades (to 3/4" wide). Mature leaves have one wavy edge and a prominent midrib. It thrives in wet, boggy soils and is commonly grown as a foliage accent in water gardens and pond margins.

Additional Information:
Both the leaves and rhizome are apparently psychoactive, due to the presence of asarones, which have mescaline-like hallucinogenic properties if taken in sufficient quantities.

In lesser amounts it has stimulating and tonic effects. According to Arabic, Roman and later European folk botany, the plant is also an aphrodisiac.


Height
24-30 Inches

spacer

Spread
18-24 Inches

spacer

Bloom/Seasonal Color
Green


USDA Hardiness Zone 4-10

Home Owner Growing and Maintenance Tips:
Easily grown in average, medium wet to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Grows well in both boggy conditions (including shallow standing water to 9" deep) and consistently moist garden soils. Leaf tips will turn brown if soils are allowed to dry out. Appreciates some relief from hot summer sun. Slowly naturalizes by creeping rhizomes and can form large colonies in the wild.

Good Companions
Soft Rush (Juncus effusus), Blue Flag (Iris versicolor), Southern Blue Flag (Iris virginica var. shrevei)

Characteristics & Attributes

Hydrologic Designation

OBL

Root

Rhizomes

Soil Moisture

High
Moderate

Special Uses

Bog

Sun Exposure

Medium Sun/Average Shade
Full Sun

USFS MO Ecological Map

Wildlife Benefit

Food/Birds
Cover