Acorus calamus L.
Calamus, Single-vein sweetflag, Sweet flag
Araceae (Arum Family)
USDA Symbol: ACCA4
A grasslike, aromatic perennial with long, narrow, erect leaves rising to a height of 5 ft. and a distinctive inflorescence. This plant emerges from the water with a 2-edged stalk, with an outward-jutting club-like spadix bearing tiny, greenish-yellow flowers. Individual flowers are small and inconspicuous, crowded on a fleshy stalk (spadix) which resembles the leaves. A narrow, foot-long spathe (specialized leaf), projects beyond the spadix.
This plant, which grows partly in and partly out of water, reproduces by underground rootstalks that have a sweet odor and flavor, once used for making candy. All parts of the plant are fragrant when bruised.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Native Distribution: P.E.I. to scattered locales in MT, ID, OR & n. CA, s. to SC & TX
Native Habitat: Pond borders; wet places
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Wet soil.
Conditions Comments: An aromatic plant suitable for wet areas. Botanists argue whether this is a native North American plant or an early introduction, naturalized, from Eurasia.
BenefitFragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagate by root cuttings. Plant the forward end of the large root with the fiber roots spread out straight and the rhizome lying horizonally just below the soil surface. Seeds germinate fairly well in wet soil, but the plant makes few seeds, being nea
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native plants to stop pond bank erosion
June 04, 2008
I recently purchased a home with a small pond in which a nearby stream daylights. The former owner placed large field stone around the pond and the small stream; however, the area around the pond and...
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Acorus calamus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Acorus calamus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Acorus calamus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-12-23
Research By: TWC Staff