Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Thalia dealbata (Powdery alligator-flag)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Thalia dealbata

Thalia dealbata Fraser ex Roscoe

Powdery Alligator-flag, Powdery Thalia, Water Canna

Marantaceae (Prayer-Plant Family)

Synonym(s): Thalia barbata

USDA Symbol: thde

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Powdery Alligator-flag is a robust, tropical, aquatic perennial, 3-8 ft. tall. The large, broadly lance-shaped, long-petioled leaves are covered with a white powdery coating as are all parts of the plant. The flowers are crowded in an open panicle.


From the Image Gallery

16 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , GA , IL , KY , LA , MO , MS , OK , SC , TX
Native Distribution: Locally on Coastal Plain from SC to TX & n. into OK, extreme s.e. MO & s. IL
Native Habitat: Cypress swamps; marshes; ponds

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Aquatic: yes
Soil Description: Shallow water or poorly drained, wet soils. Mud, Saline tolerant
Conditions Comments: A dramatic, tropical looking plant with broad grey-green leaves. Small purple flowers bloom on tall flower stalks above the leaves. Good for wetland gardens and habitats. May be propagated easily by divisions. Larval food plant for the Brazilian Skipper butterfly.


Use Ornamental: Water garden, Bog or pond area
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Deer Resistant: Minimal

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-28
Research By: LAL

Go back