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Acorus calamus

Zones 4 - 11

Sweetflag, so called for its citrusy-fragrant foliage is one of the best vertical accents, even for a small pond, with Iris-like leaves from two to four feet tall, depending on the variety. A. calamus >Variegatus= is a brightly variegated variety reaching to about thirty inches and which makes a striking contrast with broad-leaved margin plants such as Thalea dealbata. Plant in containers with zero to six inches of water over the top. (So long as the roots stay wet most of the time) Dwarf Variegated Sweetflag, Acorus gramineus >Variegatus= , a petite version of the plant below, grows to twelve inches and wants zero to four inches of water. Sweetflag need from 4 to 6 hours of direct sun.

 acorus, or sweetflag



Because these are margin plants you can combine them effectively with plants in the pond as well as plants surrounding the pond. For harmonies, combine them with other Iris or any of the many ornamental grasses, with cattails  or reeds or rushes. For contrasts combine them variegated Canna with which you will create both harmonies, through leaf color, and striking contrasts by virtue of the narrow leaf of the sweetflag and the bold leaf of the Canna.


 acorus calumus or dwarf sweetflag

 Dwarf Sweetflag