University of Maryland Extension

Lizard’s Tail

Text and photo by Ellen Nibali

Saururus cernuus

Ponds and bogs are the natural home of this native plant.  Heart-shaped leaves are topped by 4 to 6 inch flower spires that last almost the entire summer.  The fragrant blooms curve, suggesting a tail.  Rising to a total height of 1 ½ to 4 ½ feet, lizard’s tail plants enjoy sun but will flower even in full shade. They produce a seed capsule eaten by wild fowl.  A vigorous grower, lizard’s tail can be grown in a container in ponds, with the top soil level at a water depth of 0 to 6”, and also grown in damp shade.  Divide clumps in spring when necessary.


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