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Lizard's Tail
  Photos © Kim Hosen; Hilton Head Island, SC; June 2015
Text by Lubna Aijaz

Lizard's Tail
Saururus cernuus
Saururaceae family

Lizard's tail is a medicinal and decorative plant native to eastern North America. The common name and the genus name, from the Greek sauros (lizard) and oura (tail), describe the shape of the drooping flower bunch.

Look for Lizard's Tail in lightly shaded areas along the edges of ponds and in marshes. In summer, clusters of tiny, fragrant, white flowers line slender stalks with drooping tips.

Lizard's Tail has many traditional herbal uses as an anti-inflammatory, poultice, stomachic and sedative. It is a favorite food of turtles, which eat the leaves. Many fish, frogs, salamanders, crayfish, turtles and aquatic insects hide underwater among its stems. Bees and flies visit flowers for nectar.

If you’re in need of a good, easy-care plant that enjoys plenty of moisture, then growing lizard’s tail swamp lily may be just what you desire. This plant requires extremely little attention once planted.