Acorus calamus (Sweetflag)
Family: Acoraceae (Sweetflag)

Sweetflag is a wetland plant found in similar habitats as cattails. Plants grow to a height of about 2 feet. Leaves are about 1/2-inch wide, lime green, flat, with a prominent raised midvein. Crushed leaves are aromatic. Plants are sterile.

Some sources decribe Sweetflag as a native plant, while others suggest it was introduced to North America from India, central Asia or Eastern Europe. Sweetflag has almost disappeared from Colorado due to the draining of wetlands.

Sweetflag roots have been used by people for a variety of purposes. An entry on Wikipedia states "The root is anodyne, aphrodisiac, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hallucinogenic, hypotensive, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, mildly tonic and vermifuge." That's quite a resume! The plant also contains carcinogens and the FDA has banned its use as a food additive.

Vegetation zone:  Plains (3500 - 5100 ft.)
Time of bloom:  June - July
Origin:  Native / Introduced
Eastern Colorado Wildflowers