File Size: 47 KB
Acorus calamus  L.
Neosho County, Kansas
Height: To 5 feet
Family: Acoraceae - Sweet-flag Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August
Stems: Aerial stems absent. Herbage usually aromatic; from branched and creeping rhizomes.
Leaves: Basal, simple, crowded, erect; stipules absent; petioles absent; blade bright green, linear, 35 to 40 inches long, 1/3 to 1 inch wide, sword-shaped, parallel-veined, midvein usually off-center, margins entire.
Inflorescences: Spadix subtended by erect, leaf-like spathe, 8 to 24 inches, which extends beyond spadix; spadix diverging from scape, cylindric, 1.6 to 3.6 inches long, .2 to .4 inch wide, tapered, apex obtuse.
Flowers: Bisexual; radially symmetric; tepals 6, distinct; stamens 6, distinct; style 1; stigma 1.
Fruits: Fruits are not produced.
Habitat: Marshes, swamps, and backwater areas along rivers
Distribution: Scattered in east 3/4 of Kansas
Origin: Introduced
Uses: Introduced to North American for its medicinal uses. Native Americans used sweet-flag as a medicine and for ceremonial uses. It provides habitat for waterfowl.
Comments: This species is a sterile triploid. Acorus historically has been placed in the Araceae. The name Acorus calamus long has been applied to North American plants, but evidence supports recognition of two species: the European A. calamus and the native A. americanus (Raf.) Raf. Acorus americanus occurs in eastern Nebraska but has not been found in Kansas.

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