Acorus calamus

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Acorus calamus L.

Acoraceae

Life form: perennial
Usage: economic plant / Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   3

Moisture: wet bis Moisture: aquatic plant

Arrangement: distichous
Leaves: decidious

Shape: linear

Division: simple

Shape: six-stellate
Fruit: berry

163C / dd953b 

Inflorescence: spadix

Petals: single
Habit: erect

Growth form: erect

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Liliopsida
Subclassis:
Aridae
Superordo:
Acoranae
Ordo:
Acorales
Subordo:
Acorineae

Acorus calamus is a perennial.

Naming

Acorus calamus was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

Acorus calamus is a species in the genus Acorus which contains approximately 4 to 6 species and belongs to the family of the Acoraceae (Sweet Flag Family).

Characteristics

Acorus calamus - flowers
Acorus calamus - roots

Growth

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.

Leaves

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.

Root System

The plants produce rhizomes which give rise to vegetative spread.

Distribution

Acorus calamus is native to East Asia.

Cultivation

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 -40°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

  • banks

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: drought
  • low: soil salinity
  • medium: calcareous soil
  • high: anaerobic soil

Uses

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.

Cultivars

Poisonousness

Acorus calamus is moderately toxic.

Aeskulap  Please read the health issues note

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große 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.

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