Sweet Flag, Myrtle Root

AcorusCalamusThe sweet flag forms thickets in the shoals. It has strong blade-shaped leaves up to a meter and a half long. Its leaves are different from those of other aquatic plants by the frill along the edge. Above the 4-12-cm long spadix there is the floral envelope resembling a regular leaf. The leaves are bright green with a yellowish hue.

The plant spread here from the East. According to one legend, pieces of its root were regularly cast into water bodies by the warriors of Batu and Genghis Khan: they believed the myrtle root purified the water. The roots took on well, and the plant sprawled over Europe.

In the moderate climate, this species of the warmer lands does blossom but not fruit; thus it propagates only asexually.

The rootstalk of sweet flag is long and thick, covered with axillae. Roots sprawling down from it are multitudinous.

The rootstalk of sweet flag is an old traditional medicine for many diseases. It is also used as a spice, or as a cosmetic ingredient – for the fortunate combination of pleasant smell and healing properties.

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