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Thalia geniculata (Bent alligator-flag)
Cressler, Alan

Thalia geniculata

Thalia geniculata L.

Bent Alligator-flag, Arrow Root

Marantaceae (Prayer-Plant Family)

Synonym(s): Thalia trichocalyx

USDA Symbol: THGE2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), PR (N)

The lance-shaped leaves of bent alligator-flag or arrow root, with blades 1-2 ft. long and about half as wide, have petioles up to 3 ft. long. The lax, branching inflorescence of blue & purple flowers may be 3 ft. tall. The entire plant grows 6-10 ft. in height. Tall perennial herb with long basal leaves and pairs of small flowers in open panicles.

The light green foliage on their stalks gives these conspicuous plants the name “flags.” They are related to the banana and the canna.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


Native Distribution: FL to the West Indies
Native Habitat: Stream & pond margins; wet ditches

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Aquatic: yes
Soil Description: Shallow water or poorly drained, wet soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Description: Not Available
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Thalia geniculata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Thalia geniculata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Thalia geniculata


Record Modified: 2015-05-12
Research By: TWC Staff

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