Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Japanese Rush, Japanese Sweet Flag, Grassy Leaved Sweet Flag
Acorus gramineus 'Variegatus'

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acorus (AK-or-us) (Info)
Species: gramineus (gram-IN-ee-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegatus

10 vendors have this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo
Ponds and Aquatics

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral windsor224 On Nov 7, 2012, windsor224 from Haycock,Bucks County, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love this plant and it grows without any special attention. I just wish it didn't die out in the center which makes it a bit unattractive to look down on. I just started pulling out pieces from around the edges and planting it in other areas of the yard. I don't expect to have any problems with it taking hold and growing.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Oct 15, 2012, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

This plant has held it's own over the years for me potted with the Fuschia 'Gartenmeister bonsted' in a 12" pot. It and the Fuschia will soon go in ground.
Its does like much water..can get by though on not much. That's pretty good for a water's edge plant. And occasional fertilizer really helps to break it out of just sitting in the pot with bonsai like growth. And for a shade plant,it doesn't seem attractive to slugs and snails.
Try it!

Positive sueroderus On Jan 2, 2011, sueroderus from Bluffton, SC wrote:

This plant is evergreen in my zone 8b garden. It does well in shade or part shade but gets burned in full sun or afternoon sun. Maybe with more water it would not burn. Acorus is deer and rabbit resistant in my garden.

Positive pyromomma On Sep 6, 2008, pyromomma from Columbia, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

just got this in Columbia SC to plant in my bog garden.

From Classy Groundcovers website:
"A fine-bladed rush-like grass with green and white striped, 1/4" wide leaves - evergreen in southern zones. Non-invasive rhizome grass. Numerous sedge-like spikes of tiny, densely-packed, yellow flowers appear in late spring to early summer. Flowers give way to tiny reddish fleshy berries. Requires moist soil; good bog plant.

Striking foliage provides wonderful color and texture for gardens. An excellent ground cover for open woods, at water’s edge, and in ponds or water gardens in up to 4 inches (10 cm) of water. Excellent for erosion control along the banks of streams and ponds. Slow to moderate growth rate. Occasional foot traffic is tolerated. Mature height 6-12 inches, spacing 8-12 inches.

Acorus is a genus of monocot flowering plants. This genus was once placed within the family Araceae (aroids), but more recent phylogenies place it in its own family Acoraceae and order Acorales, of which it is the sole genus of the oldest surviving line of monocots. The exact relationship of Acorus to other monocots, however, is still debated by scientitst. Some studies indicate that it is placed in a lineage (the order Alismatales), that also includes aroids (Araceae), Tofieldiaceae, and several families of aquatic monocots (e.g., Alismataceae, Posidoniaceae). Common names include Calamus and Sweet Flag.

The name ’acorus’ is derived from the Greek word ’acoron’, a name used by Dioscorides, which in turn was derived from ’coreon’, meaning ’pupil’, because it was used in herbal medicine as a treatment for inflammation of the eye.

The genus is native to North America and northern and eastern Asia, and naturalised in southern Asia and Europe from ancient cultivation. The known wild populations are diploid except for some tetraploids in eastern Asia, while the cultivated plants are sterile triploids, probably of hybrid origin between the diploid and tetraploid forms.

These grasslike evergreen plants are hemicryptophytes, (i.e. perennial plants of which the overwintering buds are at the soil surface) or geophytes (i.e. the overwintering buds are found underground, usually attached to a bulb, corm, tuber, etc.). Their natural habitat is at the waterside or close to marshes, often found with reedbeds.

The inconspicuous flowers are arranged on a lateral spadix (a thickened, fleshy axis). Unlike aroids, there is no spathe (large bract, enclosing the spadix). The spadix is 4-10 cm long and is enclosed by the foliage. The bract can be ten times longer than the spadix. The leaves are linear with entire margin.

The parallel-veined leaves of some species contain ethereal oils that give a sweet scent when dried. Fine-cut leaves used to be strewn across the floor in the Middle Ages, both for the scent, and for presumed efficacy against pests."


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Fullerton, California
Hayward, California
Knights Landing, California
Iowa City, Iowa
Ewing, Kentucky
Prospect, Kentucky
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Greenville, North Carolina
Quakertown, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Okatie, South Carolina
Arlington, Tennessee
Melfa, Virginia
Concrete, Washington

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