Acorus americanus, native sweetflag, has aromatic foliage, similar to Iris in shape, yet unpalatable to geese and deer. Sweetflag spreads moderately from a thick rhizome forming a dense mat along pond shores and stream banks. Acorus americanus provides bold vertical accent in full sun to partial shade and is drought tolerant.
As a member of the Acorales order, Acorus americanus is one of the oldest surviving monocots in the world. It was historically planted along Native American paths, trade routes, and around village sites, where it was often used medicinally, ceremonially, and for trade. Acorus americanus is an OBL wetland perennial, growing in shallow water and moist soils. Their leaves may be mistaken for Iris, but upon closer look you will notice a raised, off-center mid-rib vein, as well as a cylindrical, finger-like spadix protruding out from a stiff, stem-like spathe. This odd flower is made of up many smaller flowers, intricately packed together. They spread by seed or by rhizomes, forming small but scattered colonies along stream banks. Unfortunately, Acorus americanus is now an endangered plant species in our home state of Pennsylvania. At Kind Earth Growers, we grow this plant as a way to preserve it for future generations.