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Alligatorflag, Fireflag
Thalia geniculata
Marantaceae
 

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Water gardens and along pond and lake edges.

Availability: Native plant nurseries.

Description: Large herb.

Dimensions: Typically 3-6 feet in height. Spreads and forms large patches.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Southeastern United States south to Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland; West Indies, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Not documented on barrier islands in South Florida, but possibly historically present; it grows well at Pan’s Garden in Palm Beach.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes north to Indian River and Manatee counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Swamps, marshes and wet disturbed sites.

Soils: Wet, poorly-drained organic soils.

Nutritional Requirements: High; requires rich organic soils for optimal growth.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Purple.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: Spring-fall.

Fruit: Urticle.

Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host plant for Brazilian skipper (Calpodes ethlius) butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed and division.

References: Nelson 2003

Comments: See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page.


Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Chuck McCartney

Copyright by: Susan Lerner, cultivated at Pan's Garden, Town of Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

Copyright by: Susan Lerner, cultivated at Pan's Garden, Town of Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Brazilian skipper (Calpodes ethlius) caterpillar on leaf.


Other data on Thalia geniculata available from:



 
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