Variegated Sweet Flag

By: C. Colston Burrell
Variegated sweet flag provides the perfect vertical edging for ponds or bog gardens.

The green-leaved form of variegated sweet flag grows wild throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere, but it is the variegated version that is the most popular in water gardens. Its striking season-long color more than makes up for its uninteresting flowers.

Description of variegated sweet flag: The variegated sweet flag bears thick swordlike leaves similar to those of an iris. They are strikingly variegated with green and creamy white horizontal stripes and reaching straight upward to a height of 2 or 3 feet. The brownish green flower heads seem to be borne directly from the leaves but are more a curiosity than an attraction. The common name comes from the sweet scent that the leaves give off when crushed. Ease of care of variegated sweet flag: Easy.


Growing variegated sweet flag: Plant in moist soil or in water up to 6 inches deep. It adapts to both sun and partial shade.

Propagating variegated sweet flag: By division.

Uses for variegated sweet flag: The variegated sweet flag is the perfect vertical accent plant for pond edges or bog gardens. A clump or two rising from the middle of a pool also creates quite a dramatic effect.

Related varieties of variegated sweet flag: The wild form (Acorus calamus) also makes a good accent plant, although it is not quite as dramatic as its variegated cousin. The dwarf sweet flag (A. gramineus) is a small grasslike plant with narrow leaves. It reaches 6 to 12 inches in height, depending on the variety chosen. Variegated forms of the dwarf sweet flag are especially popular.

Scientific name of variegated sweet flag: Acorus Calamus 'Variegatus'


Want more information on gardening and great plants you can grow? Try:

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