Floridata Plant Encyclopedia

A Floridata Plant Profile 852 Acorus gramineus

Common Names: Japanese sweet flag, Japanese rush, grassy-leaved sweet flag, dwarf sweet flag Family: Araceae (arum Family)

Japanese rush
This is the popular golden variegated Japanese sweet flag cultivar 'Ogon'.

Description

Japanese sweet flag is an aquatic or wetland perennial with semievergreen grasslike foliage. It has narrow, 6-14 in (15-35.6 cm) glossy leaves and looks like thick, lush grass. The leaves are carried in two ranks, like opposing fans. They are flat, about a 0.5 in (1.3 cm) wide and tend to flop over. The insignificant flowers, shaped like little horns, are produced in midsummer on erect hollow stems. Usually only plants grown in water produce flowers. The cultivar, 'Ogon' (a.k.a. 'Wogon') is also called golden variegated Japanese sweet flag, or Japanese rush. It has arching foliage with cream and chartreuse stripes, and is a little smaller than the species, with leaves a 0.25 in (0.6 cm) wide and just 10 in (25.4 cm) long. 'Variegatus' has green and white striped leaves. 'Licorice' has foliage and rhizomes that smell like anise. 'Minimus', and 'Minimus Aureus' which has yellowish leaves, are tiny cultivars, only 3 in (7.6 cm) tall and suitable for aquaria and small pots.


Location

Acorus gramineus, the Japanese sweet flag, is native to eastern Asia where it grows in wetlands and shallow water.

Culture

Light: Full sun to partial shade. Moisture: Japanese sweet flag requires very moist soil. It does just fine in the wetland zone along ponds and ornamental pools, and even submersed in water 3-6 in (7.6-15 cm) deep. It can be grown in regular garden situations but must be watered frequently. The leaf tips will turn brown and wither if the soil dries for even brief periods. Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 - 9. Propagation: Propagate Japanese sweet flag by dividing the rhizomes in spring, then letting the new divisions get established in a pot for a few weeks before planting out.

Usage

Japanese sweet flag is used along pond margins and at the edges of water gardens. It's a great foliage plant for shallow water and marshy areas. It spreads aggressively by rhizomes and will eventually produce a seamless turf, making a beautiful groundcover for the front of a bog garden. When walked upon, it releases a fragrance reminiscent of cinnamon. If you don't want a solid stand of Japanese sweet flag, grow it in submerged containers so it can't spread. In Japan, the smaller cultivars often are grown in shallow water in containers indoors.

Features

There are only two species in the genus Acorus. The other is A. calamus, or sweet flag, the source of oil of calamus, used medicinally and in perfumes and soaps. Sweet flag was formerly used as a "strewing herb', to spread on the floor so that a pleasant scent would be released when trod upon. Japanese sweet flag is not quite as aromatic as the true sweet flag. Although the sweet flags are in the Jack-in-the-pulpit family, their flowers don't look much like the typical spathe and spadix of most members of the family.

Steve Christman 11/8/00; updated 10/22/03



Master Plant List

Click here to find plants in our Encyclopedia using the Master Plant List grid. Use this widget to search, sort and filter Floridata's plant database to easily locate Plant Profile pages. Use the dropdown menus to filter the grid to display items matching the selected Plant Type and Feature tags.

Plant Type Tags

tree icon
shrub icon
palm
perennial plant icon
aquatic plant icon
cactus and succulents icon
grass icon
vine icon

Feature Tags

Attracts Birds
Attracts butterflies
Attracts Hummingbirds
Edible Plants
Cutting and Arranging
medicinal
for pots and containers
indoors
shade
drought tolerant plants
grows in wet soils
flowers
ornamental fruits
fall color
foliage plants
evergreen
easy to grow plants
fast growing

Site Search

Use Google to search all of the pages on Floridata including the Plant Profile pages




Acorus species profiled on Floridata:


Acorus gramineus

( Japanese sweet flag, Japanese rush, grassy-leaved sweet flag, dwarf sweet flag )

Copyright 2015 Floridata.com LLC