Grows in bogs or shallow water, with long, narrow blade-like leaves attached to rhizomes, very like an Iris. The roots and leaves are spicily scented, valued when earth floors were strewn with sweet-scented rushes. They have been used medicinally and for their perfume and restorative qualities. Dried they are still used as flavouring, among other things in toothpaste, gargles and gin.
This form, 'Argenteostriatus', with the handsome leaves boldly variegated cream and green with rose-pink bases in spring. Needs damp soil, or shallow water.