Acorus americanus

(Rafinesque) Rafinesque

New Flora and Botany of North America 1: 57. 1836

Common names: Sweet-flag belle-angélique
Basionyms: Acorus calamus var. americanus Rafinesque Med. Fl. 1: 25. 1828
Synonyms: Acorus calamus var. americanus (Rafinesque) H. Wulff
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 22.
Leaves basally white with pink or red, otherwise bright green; major veins 2–6, ± equally raised above leaf surface; cross section swollen in center, gradually tapering to ends. Vegetative leaves to 1.45 m; sheathing base (proximal part of leaf) 18.1–51.8(–58.8) cm; distal part of leaf 31.2–88.6(–100.4) × 0.3–1.2 cm, usually slightly longer to more than 2 times length of distal leaf, margins usually entire. Sympodial leaf (46–)56.8–148(–166.7) cm, usually equal to or slightly longer than vegetative leaves; sheathing base (20.9–)25.3–74.1(–100.2) cm; distal part of leaf (20.9–)27.9–77.9(–92.6) × 0.3–1.3 cm. Spadix 3.3–7.4(–8.7) cm × 4.7–10(–13.3) mm at anthesis; fruiting spadix 3.5–7.8(–8.8) cm × 6.9–18.2 mm. Flowers 2–3 mm; pollen grains usually deeply staining in aniline blue. Fruits obpyramidal, 4–6 mm. Seeds (1–)6(–14), tan, narrowly oblong to obovate, (2–)3–4 mm. 2n = 24.

Phenology: Flowering late spring–mid summer.
Habitat: Wet open areas, marshes, swales, and along edges of quiet water
Elevation: 0–900 m

Distribution

V22 42-distribution-map.jpg

Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Alaska, Conn., D.C., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.Dak., Vt., Va., Wash., Wis.

Discussion

Acorus americanus, a fertile diploid, occurs from northeastern United States across Canada and the northern plains. Specimens from central Siberia with similar leaf venation were examined, and the species is perhaps holarctic in distribution. Examination of additional material is necessary to determine if northern Asian diploid plants are conspecific with A. americanus. In North America, Native Americans probably played a significant role in the present-day distribution of A. americanus because sweet-flag rhizomes and plants were valued by many groups and were objects of trade. Disjunct populations occur in localities that are often near old Native American village sites or camping areas (M. R. Gilmore 1931).

Acorus americanus is susceptible to infection by Uromyces sparganii (Uredinales).

Lower Taxa

No lower taxa listed.