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Acorus calamus

   (Family: Araceae)
Afrikaans: Makkalmoes English: Sweet-flag  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Aquatic
Special properties:
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Flowering time EDIT
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Flower info
  Inconspicuous flowers are compactly arranged on a long, fleshy axis, surrounded by a large leaf-like spathe.
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf type
  Leaf info EDIT
  Long, thin, sword-shaped leaves, which are reddish towards their bases.
  Seed info EDIT
Description EDIT
A reed-like, perennial, aquatic plant with long, thin, sword-shaped leaves growing from long creeping rhizomes.
Growing EDIT
Distribution EDIT
The plant originated from Asia, but is now widely distributed in wet places in Europe and eastern North America.

In South Africa is has become naturalised along a stream bank in the North West Province.
History EDIT
It has been cultivated in South Africa since early colonial times.
Only the rhizomes are generally used for madicinal purposes.
It is mainly used as a digestive and carminative, but sometimes as an emetic, anti-spasmodic, stimulant and anthelmintic.
It appears to relieve stomach cramps, asthma and chronic dysentry.
Alcoholic extracts are generally used. The dried or candied rhizomes may be directly chewed or taken as an infusion on boiling water.

The use of Acorus in digestive medicines has been discontinued in most countries due to possible toxic and carcinogenic effects.
Ecology EDIT
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  • Ben-Erik van Wyk, (2005), Medicinal Plants of South Africa ,Briza Publications  


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