Acorus americanus (Raf.) Raf.
Family: Acoraceae
sweet-flag
Acorus americanus image
Matthew L. Wagner  
Etymology: Acorus: the Latin akoron was the Greek name of an iris
Plants: erect, perennial, emergent semi-aquatic, up to 6' tall; sweet spicy smell when crushed; very long, aromatic, reddish rhizomes
Leaves: sweetly aromatic, crowded at the base, long, narrow, sword-like, midvein and 1-5 additional veins mostly equally-raised
Flowers: yellow to brown, tiny, 6-parted; inflorescence a 2"-4" dense, thick, cylindrical spadix protruding from the side of the leaf-like spathe; blooms June-July
Fruits: brown, hard, and dry with 2-3 seeds
Habitat: shallows, ponds, marshes, in water less than 20" deep; in wet, silty soil
Conservation Status: Native