Scientific name

Thalia L.

Common names

water canna, powdery alligatorflag, Indian bayou, powdery thalia



Native distribution


Species cultivated

Thalia dealbata Fraser

T. geniculata L.

Adventive distribution


Weed status

not weedy


emergent, broad-leaved rosette plant

Brief description

Perennial. Emergent, tall. Stem narrow and rhizomatous. Leaves alternate; petiole narrow, sheathed; leaf blade broad ovate-lanceolate, venation pinnate, lateral veins closely spaced and parallel; margin entire. Inflorescence an open, bracteate panicle. Flowers in sessile pairs, zygomorphic; sepals 3, subequal; petals 3, fused at base. Dispersal by seed.

Natural habitat

lakes, swamps, and rivers

Additional comments

A genus with six species, with only a few aquatic. Thalia dealbata is the species most commonly cultivated for ponds. Thalia geniculata is slightly smaller than T. dealbata and has characteristic red stems basally.