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Acorus gramineus 'Variegatus'

(Sweetflag, Variegated Grassy-leaved)

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Hardiness Zones:

Quick Overview:

A. g. ‘Variegatus’ is commonly called variegated Japanese rush, dwarf sweet flag or grassy-leaved sweet flag. It is a semi-evergreen, marginal aquatic perennial that features grass- to iris-like tufts of narrow, variegated leaf blades (1/4” wide) which are striped with white and green and fan upward to 6-12” tall. It thrives in wet soils and is commonly grown in water gardens and boggy areas as a foliage accent or ground cover. Although it looks like a grass or small iris, it is actually a member of the acorus family. Insignificant, sedge-like flower spikes (2-3” long spadixes without showy spathes) are densely packed with tiny greenish flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer. Flowers give way to tiny fleshy berries. Tufts slowly spread by creeping roots to form a dense ground cover. Foliage is sweetly fragrant when bruised.


Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Grows well in both boggy conditions (including shallow standing water to 3” deep) and consistently moist garden soils. Scorched leaf tips will occur if soils are allowed to dry out. In water gardens, it is planted in containers with up to 3” of water covering the crowns or in wet soils at the edge. Appreciates some relief from hot summer sun (e.g., afternoon shade or filtered sun) when grown in hot summer climates.

Additional Information

Common Name Sweetflag, Variegated Grassy-leaved
Botanical Name Acorus gramineus 'Variegatus'
Container/Amount 1 gallon
Plant Category Groundcover, Aquatic, Ornamental Grass
Evergreen or Deciduous Evergreen
Hardiness Zone 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Height 1 ft.
Width 1 ft,
Growth Rate Average
Light Requirements Sun
Soil Condition Wet Soils
Water Needs Average
Blooming Period June-July
Flower Color No
Fragrance No
Foliage Color Variegated white and green
Berry Color No
Deer Resistant Yes

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