Growing Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus)

Category Herbs
This herb grows best in shallow water. It has both medicinal and culinary uses. This is a page about growing sweet flag (Acorus calamus).
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January 22, 2007

Botanical Name:

Acorus

Common names:

Sweet Flag

Description:

Sweet Flag is an unusual herb in that its natural habitat is in shallow water. Its sword-shaped leaves are similar to that of an Iris, except that when crushed, they release a distinctively pleasant scent, its tiny, greenish-yellow flowers are inconspicuous, appearing on tall, cylindrical spikes.

Life Cycle:

perennial

Exposure:

sun to partial shade

Cultivation:

Start Sweet Flag from rhizomes. Plants can be further propagated this way by the spring of fall of their second or third year to prevent rhizomes from becoming hollow. Grow them as aquatic pond plants.
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Propagation:

rhizomes or seeds

Parts Used:

leaves and rhizomes

Harvesting and Storage:

Leaves should be harvested and hung up to dry in the fall. Harvest the leaves and hang to dry in the fall. The vanilla fragrance of the leaves becomes more intense while drying. Rhizomes should be harvested in the spring or fall.

Medicinal Uses:

ulcers; heartburn; kidney problems, anti-spasmodic

Culinary Uses

substitute for vanilla; rhizomes can be substituted for ginger, nutmeg or cinnamon.

Other Uses:

repels weevils (leaves); potpourri (rhizomes)
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