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Thalia geniculata (red-stemmed)

Family Name: Marantaceae
Synonyms: Thalia geniculata f. rheumoides
Common Name: Red Thalia, Red-stemmed Alligator Flag
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Lots of Water Ornamental Flowers Aquatic &Hydrophyte Woody Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Herbaceous), Aquatic & Hydrophyte (Emergent)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 2.4 m to 3 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 0.6 m to 0.9 m


Native Distribution Florida, Central America (West Indies)
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Marginal or emergent aquatic shrub, herbaceous, up to 3m height. Ideal for boggy waterlogged areas, pond edges and shallow water (15cm depth).Leaves lime-green, architectural. Flowers lavender and white, held in clusters of zigzag stalks high above foliage, stalks become more pendulous with successive blooms. Stems intense solid red or striped with red, ornamental. Propagate by division or seeds. Its common name, Alligator Flag, may be due to plant's native habitat at deeper waters of cypress swamps, where alligators are likely to be found.
Taxonomy In the horticultural trade, this plant is sometimes referred to as Thalia geniculata f. ruminoides.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Stems
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Easy to Grow, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site)
Landscape Uses Riverine, Flowerbed / Border, Swimming Poolside, Focal Plant, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Water Garden, Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment
Species record last updated on: 21 September 2020.