Native American Name
Dakota: sinkpe-ta-wote; Lakota: sunka ce
Acorus americanus is a grass-like perennial forb, which grows 3ft to 5ft in height. This species is commonly found in swamps and marshes. The plant is strongly rhizomatous. The leaves are ensiform, erect and linear. Acorus calamus has a space that is 4-9 cm long with light brown greenish-brown perfect flowers that are enclosed by a leaf-like spathe. Flowering occurs from May to July. The perianth has 6 short segments, there are 6 stamens, and the pistil contains 2-3 locules. The fruit is a small capsule containing 2-3 seeds. The rhizomes are quite fragrant and are used both as medicines and food by several of the Northern Great Plains tribal peoples.