Acorus Calamus-Sweet Flag
This forever popular marginal plant also known as ‘Scented Rush’ or ‘Sweet Flag’, is one of my favourite plants to propagate as the rhizomes give off an addictive aniseed scented aroma when they are cut or broken, however, the leaves give off a less attractive scent when brushed. This marginal plant produces the freshest, tidiest, lime green leaves, but also has very interesting cone shaped cream coloured flowers. Acorus have been grown for centuries and have been used for many medicinal purposes and culinary uses throughout history. The oils from their rhizomes have been used in other cultures for perfumes and flavourings and the leaves in the past, have been used for thatching. Also the leaves can be traditionally stacked in piles to create a nice aroma in churches and many other religious and cultural buildings and are used in ceremonies.
Acorus Calamus is a marginal plant that will thrive in full sun or partial shade and grow quite happily submerged up to a water depth of 30cm, but will be just as happy in damp or boggy soil therefore making it versatile, and suited to a vast amount of different environments where it will establish itself and colonise around lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, ditches, bog-gardens, ornamental ponds and swimming ponds. Nutrient hungry, Acorus Calamus is widely used throughout the filtration industry and is often used for natural habitat replacement schemes as it offers excellent cover for wild-fowl. It is also a favourite breeding ground for Amphibians and emerging Dragonflies, so, what more can I say, apart from its an all rounder and an excellent choice for any water garden from the biggest lake, to the smallest garden pond.
Last but not least is Acorus Calamus Variegata which is an ornamental cultivar. This plant grows more compact and less tall up to a height of 60cm.