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ACORUS calamus

Image of Acorus calamus

Jesse Saylor

Family

Acoraceae

Botanical Name

ACORUS calamus

Plant Common Name

Sweet Flag

General Description

Calamus is an herbaceous perennial that is native throughout much of the United States and Canada. It has inconspicuous flowers and is grown primarily for its tall, upright, broad, iris-like foliage. One particularly attractive cultivar is 'Argenteostriatus', which has beautifully variegated leaves. These plants spread by rhizomes and grow best in moist boggy areas with full to partial sun. Semi-aquatic in nature, calamus works well in naturalistic plantings along waterways or in gardens with moist fertile soil.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    North America, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Poorly Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Light Green

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Mixed Border, Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No