IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Sweet flag is a perennial, rhizomatous, iris-like herb. The erect, sharp-pointed, sword-shaped leaves fan-out from a pinkish base and grow to 5 feet in length. The midvein is usually off-center. Cut or bruised leaves produce a sweet, tangerine-like scent. The flower stem, or scape, arises from the base of the outer leaves. Although resembling a leaf, the scape is triangular in cross section. A long, erect bract, or spathe, extends beyond the scape. A single, cylindrical 2 to 4-inch spike, or spadex, angles upward at this union. The slightly curved spadix is crowded with small yellowish-green to brown flowers that appear from May to July. Sweet flag has thick, creeping rhizomes with brownish exteriors and white, fleshy interiors.


Public Domain

USDA NRCS Rose Lake Plant Materials Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database


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