American sweet flag facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsAmerican sweet flag
Acorus americanus, the American sweet flag, is an emergent wetland plant native to the northern United States and Canada. This perennial plant has bright green blade-shaped leaves that arise directly from the rhizomes and sheath into each other at the base. Additionally the blades have 2-6 raised veins, and a swollen center when viewed in cross section. The foliage has a citrus-like spicy aromatic quality, and can be used to flavor beer. It is a flowering plant with inconspicuous flowers that are arranged on a lateral spadix (a thickened, fleshy axis) and the fertilized flowers produce berries with a jelly inside. This plant is protected as a state endangered species in Pennsylvania.
The name "Acorus" is derived from the Greek word 'acoron', a name used by Dioscorides, which in turn was derived from 'coreon', meaning 'pupil', because it was used in herbal medicine as a treatment for inflammation of the eye.
Acorus americanus was formerly classified as Acorus calamus var. americanus. It differs only in being a fertile diploid (2n = 24)], whereas most of the A. calamus of Europe and Asia is a sterile triploid species, that only spreads asexually. Diploid plants in northern Asia may be representatives of A. americanus. Also as a diploid it does not produce b-asarone.
This plant was used extensively by Native Americans and early European settlers.
American sweet flag Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.