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Sweet flag

Acorus selections

Sweet flag

Although sweet flag looks like a grass, it is in a family by itself. Like grasses, though, sweet flags are grown for their textural foliage, especially the boldly variegated types. The plants grow best in moist soil and may even grow in several inches of standing water, making striking upright accents in water gardens or moist borders.

Sun,Part Sun
Plant Type:
Perennial,Water/Bog Plant
Plant Height:
6-48 inches tall
Plant Width:
6-24 inches wide
Flower Color:
Flowers are not showy, but the variegated creamy white and green foliage is attractive
Bloom Time:
Blooms are not showy
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders,Groundcover
Special Features:
Attractive Foliage,Fragrant,Tolerates Wet Soil,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow
Top Varieties

Acorus gramineus 'Minimus Aureus' reaches only 4 inches tall but forms a clump up to 1 foot wide. Zones 6-11
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Acorus gramineus 'Ogon' makes a 1-foot tuft of grassy golden leaves striped with green. Its foliage is evergreen in warm climates. Zones 6-11
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Acorus calamus 'Variegatus' forms an upright plant with striking green-and-white striped foliage stretching 3 to 5 feet tall. Zones 4-11
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Plant It With

Hardy hibiscus provides an excellent backdrop for the variegated foliage of sweet flag. In mid- to late summer the dinner-plate-size red, pink, or white blooms of hibiscus provide showstopping color.


Rushes are another group of grasslike plants that appreciate moist soil. Spiral rush has curlicue leaves that provide an excellent foil to the grasslike foliage of sweet flag.

Pitcher plant

Create an interesting display in moist, boggy sites with grassy sweet flag and the unusual leaves of pitcher plant.