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ornamental grass

Sweet Flag

Acorus calamus

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Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus) at Arbor Farms Nursery

Sweet Flag

Sweet Flag

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4

Description:

This striking variety forms a tall clump of sword shaped leaves with a prominent off-center midrib; a great accent for a pond edge or along a stream; divide in spring if clump centers thin out; great for wet, boggy areas

Ornamental Features

Sweet Flag is primarily valued in the landscape or garden for its ornamental upright and spreading habit of growth. Its attractive fragrant sword-like leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Sweet Flag is a dense herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Sweet Flag is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting
  • Bog Gardens

Planting & Growing

Sweet Flag will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Sweet Flag is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Groundcover  Naturalizing  Container  Bog 
Applications
Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features