Genus Acorus

These are attractive, herbaceous, aquatic and bog plants. They are great for planting in shallow water and wet places near the edges of a garden pool or pond. A. Calamus has long, sword-shaped leaves, which, when bruised, emit a strong scent. It produces small, yellow flowers in summer and can grow up to 3 feet high. A. gramineus is a dwarf Japanese kind that has slender, grass-like leaves. The word Acorus is derived from kore, a pupil and refers to the alleged ophthalmic virtues of the plant.


In the fall or spring, the rhizomes or rootstocks of A. Calamus should be planted in regular soil, in water no deeper than 8 or 10 inches. They spread rapidly and must be kept in bounds by minimizing the size of the clumps in the spring. A. gramineus should be planted in boggy places in the spring or early autumn.


The rootstocks may be lifted and divided in the spring or fall.


  • A. Calamus (Sweet Flag) & its variety variegatus;
  • A. gramineus & dwarf variety pusillus (these are usually grown as houseplants).