Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lizard's Tail, Water Dragon, Lizard Tail
Saururus cernuus

Family: Saururaceae
Genus: Saururus (saw-roo-rus) (Info)
Species: cernuus (SER-new-us) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Ponds and Aquatics

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 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)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

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

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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to view:

By Terry
Thumbnail #1 of Saururus cernuus by Terry

By Terry
Thumbnail #2 of Saururus cernuus by Terry

By henryr10
Thumbnail #3 of Saururus cernuus by henryr10

By Toxicodendron
Thumbnail #4 of Saururus cernuus by Toxicodendron

By myfishpond
Thumbnail #5 of Saururus cernuus by myfishpond

By MotherNature4
Thumbnail #6 of Saururus cernuus by MotherNature4

By rylaff
Thumbnail #7 of Saururus cernuus by rylaff

There are a total of 16 photos.
Click here to view them all!


9 positives
2 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Fires_in_motion On May 23, 2014, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I grow mine in a plastic pot with no holes at the bottom to create a nice soggy mush in which it can live. I'm surprised to see people calling it invasive, since mine has grown only a few inches in the two years since I dug it up in Tickfaw. This time of year (May) you can see them blooming in ditches and canals around my area, namely the River Parishes of Louisiana. The most amazing stand of it I've seen is at the St. James welcome center on Airline Highway in Gramercy, La. Just a cool and elegant plant which I highly recommend. And it has five u's in its Latin name, which has to be some kind of record.

Positive PammiePi On Apr 25, 2013, PammiePi from Green Cove Springs, FL wrote:

I love this plant! I have a clump of these growing amongst the fern in a damp part of my yard, near my natural spring. It grows in filtered sunlight & has very attractive flowers and leaves. Easy to grow, and very hardy. This is a native plant which came up on it's own.

Neutral greenhousegrany On Feb 23, 2011, greenhousegrany from Meriden, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:

I think some folks are confusing this plant with "Gooseneck Loosestrife" or Lysimachia clethroides. I can't say if they are in the same family, I've only grown the Loosestrife. Hope this helps!

Neutral albergord On Feb 21, 2011, albergord from East Hampton, NY wrote:

I have something that looks just like this but I was told it was "Goosenecks".... are they the same? It has run rampant over a few years, and this year I have to start digging it up as soon as it appears. Very pretty, but really takes over.

Negative LeslieT On Feb 21, 2011, LeslieT from Bellaire, TX wrote:

Almost impossible to get rid of once you plant it. I had it in a bog adjacent to my pond where it was beyond aggressive, overrunning Pickerel Weed, elephant ear and Louisiana iris.

Negative Cymbalariadave On Feb 21, 2011, Cymbalariadave from Barnesville, GA wrote:

The operative comment in the description of this plant is "can be aggressive". In my view it is a mildly attractive addition that should be grown in a container.

Positive rjuddharrison On Jan 31, 2008, rjuddharrison from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Hardy plant, that is a vigorous grower. If your in to butterfly gardening this plant is also attractive to catipillars. My plant is often defoliated as the larvae consume all of the leaves. Plant grows back just fine.

Positive slncls425 On Jan 30, 2008, slncls425 from Wrightsville, PA wrote:

I have the Saururus cernuus pictured and also have a similar one sold to me at a south central Pennsylvania garden center as "red-stemmed lizard's tail".
I wonder if the red-stemmed variety is native to the US or not? My observation is that the red-stemmed plant is more vigorous or aggressive depending on your outlook. Both are growing in a lined garden pond.

Positive frostweed On Jul 19, 2005, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Lizard's Tail is a Texas Native Bog plant. Blooms April-August, perennial up to 36 inches high.

Positive trois On Jun 8, 2005, trois from Santa Fe, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant came up on its own, and started blooming in early May.

It is a very attractive plant, and it gets full sun. Still going strong after a month.

Positive henryr10 On Jun 19, 2003, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

It's a biennial from seed.
We've had great luck w/ seed collecting and divisions.
A definite MUST for water gardens.
Ours has an earlier bloom time than listed above.
It opened today, last day of Spring.

Positive fidler On Jun 17, 2003, fidler from La Verkin, UT wrote:

Plant grows very well in the alkaly west and can provide bloom untill the frost kills top growth in late fall. It has performed well in gardens and ponds of mine in northen and southern parts of the state. Grow in pots in a pond, or in perminent locations in bog or waters edge. Makes a striking cascade down the side of a waterfall.

Positive Terry On Aug 8, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Lizard's Tail is a native to the Eastern half of the U.S. It blooms in the shade, a rare trait among water plants. Very easy to grow, it thrives on the edges of shallow water or in a boggy setting. Plant the fleshy rhizomes no more than 6" deep in a pond.

Blooms in white curving racemes (hence its whimsical name) in early summer. Second year to grow this plant, and I'm very happy with its performance.


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

Vincent, Alabama
Morrilton, Arkansas
Merced, California
Santa Clara, California
Bartow, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Niceville, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Port Saint Joe, Florida
Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)
Barnesville, Georgia
Broxton, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Hanna City, Illinois
Ewing, Kentucky
Gramercy, Louisiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
Crofton, Maryland
Fallston, Maryland
Mathiston, Mississippi
Olive Branch, Mississippi
Sturgis, Mississippi
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Croton On Hudson, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Greenville, North Carolina
Kinston, North Carolina
Chesterland, Ohio
Corning, Ohio
Wrightsville, Pennsylvania
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Viola, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas
Jacksonville, Texas
Santa Fe, Texas
La Verkin, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Canvas, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia

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