Acorus (Sweet Flag)



Acorus is a genus of semi-evergreen, perennial, marginal and submerged water plants in the family Araceae, comprising about 6 species. It is native to North America and northern and eastern Asia, and naturalised in southern Asia and Europe. Acorus is commonly known as Sweet Flag and Calamus.

Acorus calamus is a rhizome-forming, grass-like perennial that can grow to 2 meters high, and is native to Europe, Asia and North America. It is commonly known as Calamus root, sweet flag, rat root, muskrat root, or sweet sedge. Acorus calamus grows in wet areas and shallow water like the river edges, around lakes, ponds, and in ditches and bog garden, and are often found with reed beds.

Acorus calamus has long creeping roots that spread just below the soil surface. In old and well-established specimens, the roots spread horizontally and can grow up to 2 meters long. Sweet flag has thick and erect leaves that are similar to iris, but the edges are crimped. It flowers from May to July, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both the male and female organs), 3-8 cm long, cylindrical in shape, greenish brown and covered in a multitude of rounded spikes. The flowers are pollinated by insects.

Acorus is hardy and easy to grow, and will grow most anywhere as long as adequate amount of water are present, and sunny position. Propagation is by seeds or by division in spring.

Acorus calamusAcorus calamus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acorus_calamus2.jpg
authorshipKENPEI
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Flower of Acorus calamusFlower of Acorus calamus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acorus_calamus1.jpg
authorshipJ.F. Gaffard
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Spadix of Acorus calamusSpadix of Acorus calamus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acorus-calamus1.jpg
authorshipJoJan
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Seeds of Acorus calamusSeeds of Acorus calamus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acorus_calamus_seeds.jpg
authorshipSteve Hurst
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Foliage of Acorus calamusFoliage of Acorus calamus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acorus-calamus-foliage.jpg
authorshipSten
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Japanese Sweet Flag (Acorus Gramineus)Japanese Sweet Flag (Acorus Gramineus)
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acorus_gramineus.jpg
authorshipCliff
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Variegated leaves of Acorus speciesVariegated leaves of Acorus species
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_070906-8390_Acorus_sp..jpg
authorshipForest & Kim Starr
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