Acorus sweet flag

Height: 15-90cm (6-36in)

Water depth: 7.5-13cm (3-5in)

Features: foliage, scent

Soil: moist, loamy

Site: sun

Type: marginal

The common name – sweet flag -refers to the plant’s flag-like foliage and form, and the sweet cinnamon-like aroma released when the leaves are crushed.

Sweet flag’s upright sword-shaped or rush-like leaves form a dramatic edge to a pond; its tiny flowers, resemhling upright catkins, are insignificant.

Popular species and varieties:

Acorns calamus has dark green, sword-shaped leaves reaching 5§r-<

Acorus calamus ‘Varicgatus’ 60-90cm (2-3ft) high. It should he-planted at a water depth of 7.5-13cm (3-5in). The more striking ‘Variegatus’ has rich green leaves striped with white, tinged rose-pink in spring. It emits a tangerine odour when crushed.

Acorus gramineus (Japanese sweet flag) reaches just 15-30cm (6-12in) high and has narrow evergreen grass-like leaves, edged in creamy yellow in the form ‘Variegatus’. It is slightly less hardy than A. calamus and its flowers rarely appear.


Plant sweet flag in early to mid spring in shallow water or moist loamy soil by the pond edge. It grows best in sun.

Propagation: Divide clumps in spring and replant.

Pests and diseases: Trouble free.

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