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Connecticut Plants
Sweet Flag (Calamus)
Acorus calamus L.

Sweet flag leaves have a lemony scent. The roots have a sweet fragrance, and they were once used to flavor candy. Two species of sweet flag grow in Connecticut. Acorus calamus was brought from Europe, and Acorus americanus is native. Acorus calamus is sterile, due to the fact that it has a triploid number of chromosomes; Acorus americanus is a fertile diploid. The two plants are very similar in appearance; for information on distinguishing them, see Flora of North America.

  • Family: sweet flag (Acoraceae)
  • Habitat: swamps, marshes, riverbanks
  • Height: 1-4 feet
  • Flower size: tiny flowers on a 2-4 inches spadix
  • Flower color: yellow and green
  • Flowering time: May to August
  • Origin: Europe
Acorus calamus L.

Photographed in Monmouth County, New Jersey in late May.

Acorus calamus L.
Acorus calamus L.