Fine Art

Acorus gramineus

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Acorales

Familia: Acoraceae
Genus: Acorus
Species: Acorus gramineus

Acorus gramineus Aiton, Hort. Kew. 1: 474 (1789)

Acorus humilis Salisb., Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton: 263 (1796).
Acorus pusillus Siebold, Verh. Batav. Genootsch. Kunsten 12: 2 (1830).
Acorus gramineus var. pusillus (Siebold) Engl. in Candolle & Candolle, Monogr. Phan. 2: 217 (1879).
Acorus gramineus var. macrospadiceus Yamam., Contr. Fl. Kainan-to 1: 13 (1943).
Acorus gramineus var. japonica M.Hotta, Mem. Fac. Sci. Kyoto Univ., Ser. Biol. 4: (1970).
Acorus macrospadiceus (Yamam.) F.N.Wei et Y.K.Li, Guihaia 5: 179 (1985).
Acorus xiangyeus Z.Y.Zhu, Acta Bot. Boreal.-Occid. Sin. 5(2): 119 (1985).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Asia-Tropical
Bangladesh; Cambodia; China North-Central; China South-Central; China Southeast; East Himalaya; Hainan; Inner Mongolia; Japan; Korea; Laos; Myanmar; Philippines; Primorye; Qinghai; Taiwan; Thailand; Tibet; Vietnam; Xinjiang

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Aiton, W. 1789. Hortus Kewensis; or, a catalogue of the plants cultivated in the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew. Vol. I. Monandria–Heptandria. XXX+496 pp., tt. 1–6. George Nicol, London. BHL Reference page. : 1: 474.
Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2010) Flora of China 23: 1–515. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
Nooteboom, H.P. (ed.) (2011). Flora Malesiana 20: 1–61. Noordhoff-Kolff N.V., Djakarta.
Boyce, P.C., Sookchaloem, D., Hetterscheid, W.L.A., Gusman, G., Jacobsen, N., Idei, T. & Nguyen, V.D. (2012) Flora of Thailand 11(2): 101–325. The Forest Herbarium, National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Bangkok.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2013. Acorus gramineus in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Sept. 16. Reference page. 2013. Acorus gramineus in The Orders and Families of Monocotyledons. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Sept. 16. 2013. Acorus gramineus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2013 Sept. 16.
International Plant Names Index. 2013. Acorus gramineus. Published online. Accessed: 16 Sept. 2013.
IUCN: Acorus gramineus Sol. (Least Concern)
Acorus gramineus Sol. ex Aiton – Taxon details on Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Acorus gramineus in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: Acorus gramineus Sol. ex Aiton.
Acorus gramineus – Taxon details on National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Acorus gramineus – Taxon details on Encyclopedia of Life (EOL).

Vernacular names
беларуская: Аер злакавы
eesti: Kõrskalmus
suomi: Heinäkalmojuuri
日本語: セキショウ(石菖)
polski: Tatarak trawiasty
中文: 石菖蒲

Acorus gramineus, commonly known as Japanese sweet flag, Japanese rush, grassy-leaved sweet flag, and grass-leaf sweet flag,[1] is a botanical species belonging to the genus Acorus, native to Japan, Korea, and eastern Asia. The plant usually grows in wetlands and shallow water.


This shrubby plant's long, narrow, slightly curved leaves may grow to 30 cm (12 inches) in height. It can grow fully or partially submerged, or in very moist soil, but it will usually only flower when at least partially submerged.

Var. pusillus has slightly shorter, more rigid glossy green leaves, while var. variegatus has longer leaves streaked with yellow.
Cultivation and uses

Acorus gramineus spreads aggressively by rhizome, creating a nearly-seamless groundcover where conditions are favorable, and it is frequently used around the edges of ponds and water gardens,[2] as well as submerged in freshwater aquaria. It can be propagated by dividing the fleshy underwater rhizome and planting the base in shallow water.

In Japan during the Heian period, leaves of the plant were gathered for the Sweet Flag Festival on the fifth day of the fifth month. Sweet flag and wormwood were spread on the roofs of houses for decoration and to ward off evil spirits. Special herbal balls made of sweet flag were also fashioned for the occasion.


English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 517. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via Korea Forest Service.

"Acorus gramineus". Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2007-11-28.

Simon & Schuster's Guide to Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Fishes. New York, New York, United States: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1976. ISBN 0-671-22809-9.
Sei Shōnagon (2006). The Pillow Book. Translated by Meredith McKinney. London, England: Penguin Books, Ltd. pp. 41–42, 282. ISBN 0-140-44806-3.

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