This native perennial plant is 1-4' tall, consisting of tufts of basal leaves that emerge directly from a spreading rootstock. These basal leaves are erect and sword-shaped, resembling the basal leaves of Iris spp. (Irises), but more green. They are flattened (on one side more than the other), smooth along the margins, and have parallel veins. There is often an off-center ridge/indentation along the length of each leaf. Sometimes the base of the leaves or their margins are slightly red. Some leaves develop a cylindrical spadix that is about 24" in length and semi-erect. This spadix is covered with tiny greenish yellow flowers in a diamond-shaped pattern. Each flower has 6 tepals and 6 stamens. The spathe is regarded as absent by some authorities, while others consider the spathe to be a bract-like extension of the basal leaf. The blooming period occurs from late spring to early summer and lasts about a month. Both the crushed foliage and rootstocks have a pleasant aromatic fragrance. Because Sweet Flag is a sterile polyploid species, it doesn't produce any fruit with fertile seeds. The root system consists of shallow branching rhizomes that are stout and knobby; they have a brown exterior and white interior. Tufts of basal leaves occur at intervals along these rhizomes, while coarse fibrous roots develop below. This plant spreads vegetatively by its rhizomes and often forms colonies.