High Desert Plant Finder & Guide
Variegated Sweet Flag
Acorus calamus 'Variegatus'
Variegated Sweet Flag foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness Zone: 4
This striking variety forms a tall clump of sword shaped leaves that are striped lengthwise; a great accent for a pond edge or along a stream; divide in spring if clump centers thin out
Variegated Sweet Flag's attractive fragrant sword-like leaves remain dark green in color with prominent white stripes throughout the season. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Variegated Sweet Flag is a dense herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Variegated Sweet Flag is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
- Container Planting
- Bog Gardens
Planting & Growing
Variegated Sweet Flag will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
This plant should be grown in a location that is shaded from the hot afternoon sun. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Variegated Sweet Flag is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.
Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.