Acorus calamus L.
Acorus calamus is a perennial.
Acorus calamus was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.
The perennials reach heights of 60 to 90 centimetres, they have a semi-erect habit. The main growing season is in spring and summer. The plants reach a width of 50 to 60 centimetres.
Acorus calamus is deciduous. The dark-green, simple leaves are distichous. They are linear and sessile with entire margins and parallel venation. The leaves are around 60 to 80 centimetres large. The foliage is dense in summer and porous in winter.
Flowers and Fruits
Acorus calamus produces spadices of erect, light brown six-stellate flowers from June to July.
The perennials produce only few brown berries in summer.
The plants produce rhizomes which give rise to vegetative spread.
Acorus calamus is native to East Asia.
The perennials prefer a sunny situation on wet to permanently wet soil. They prefer soil with a pH between 5,2 and 7,2 and need a soil depth of at least 30 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -40Â°C (USDA zone 3) and need a frost-free period of at least 13 weeks. The plants are suited for the shore areas of and in artificial standing bodies of water, the shores areas of and in natural standing bodies of water, natural streams, shallow water and bog gardens, the planting depth is at 10 to 40 centimetres.
Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber
Tolerance of special soil conditions
- none: drought
- low: soil salinity
- medium: calcareous soil
- high: anaerobic soil
Acorus calamus is considered a valuable wild perennial. The ornamental value lies especially in its fragrance. The recommended planting distance is 50 centimetres, the perennials are best planted in groups of 5 to 15.
Maintenance and Propagation
The plants need little to no maintenance if grown under suitable conditions.
Propagate by division.
Acorus calamus is moderately toxic.
Please read the health issues note!
Pests and Diseases
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.