NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art
Indigenous Plants & Native Uses in the Northeast

(Acorus calamus)


Food: Inner portions of young tender stalks make a spicy trail snack or salad herb. A candy was made from boiling the red part of the underground stem in different batches of water, and then simmered in syrup and then rolling in sugar.

Medicine: A powder was made from the rhizomes that was smoked or chewed to destroy the taste for tobacco.

Technology: Lemony smelling leaves were sometimes used in weaving mats or in reinforcing the rims of bark containers. Colonists used the leaves to cover their floors to mask poor sanitation with bad ventilation.

Note: Note: Iris look-alikes (Yellow and Blue Flag) lack the spicy lemony order of the Sweet Flag leaves.

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© 1994 - Tara Prindle
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