Acorus gramineus "Ogon" (Golden Variegated Sweet Flag)
I love this ornamental Sweet Flag from Japan and China because of its variegated golden and green (mostly golden) grass-like leaves that are fragrant when bruised. It really brightens a shady spot but serves other functions, too: borders, accents, containers submerged in water, containers not submerged at all, for erosion control, rock gardens, and en masse. It's easy to grow, too, in medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade and even heavy shade. It can also grow in boggy conditions, and that means standing water of several inches. Insignificant flowers appear in mid-summer. Take note: don't let this one dry out or the tips become brown. It's diminutive, growing from 6-12 inches high in Zones 5-10. (Photo courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden and used with permission).