Alligatorflag, Fireflag
Thalia geniculata
Marantaceae


Landscape Uses:

Water gardens and along pond and lake edges.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Availability:
Native plant nurseries.
Description:
Large herb.
Height:
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 Panís Garden in Palm Beach.
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.
Comments:
See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page.


Chuck McCartney
Roger L. Hammer
Susan Trammell
Susan Trammell
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Susan Lerner, cultivated at Pan's Garden, Town of Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

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