Sweet-flag - Acorus calamus

    Alt Name
    Sweet Flag

    Medium to tall, tufted, rhizomatous plant. Leaves linear, pointed, rather Iris like. 7 to 20 mm wide, often with one or both margins crinkled, smelling sweetly when bruised. Flowers tiny, greenish yellow in a compact, narrow ascending cone 5 to 9 cm long, the stem prolonged above the flower cone into a leaf like spathe.

    Identification difficulty

    Rivers, canals and ponds.

    When to see it

    Flowers June and July.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Widespread but rather local in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Locally fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 49 of the 617 tetrads.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map