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Thalia dealbata is often confused with:
Canna Flower
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Typha latifolia Form
Saururus cernuus Saururus cernuus
Iris virginica Iris virginica

Water Canna Thalia dealbata

Other plants called Water Canna:

Previously known as:

  • Thalia barbata
Phonetic Spelling
THAL-ee-uh day-al-BAH-tuh
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Named after the German physician Johannes Thal, this is a great plant for a water garden.  Plant in 12 to 18 inches of water over the crown or in 5 to 20-gallon tubs.  Its native habitat includes cypress swamps, marshes and ponds.  Locating your plants in 18 to 24" of water during the winter months is sufficient.  Cutting back and providing a thick layer of mulch will help the plant to winter well.  If not possible, locate in a frost free location during the winter months.  A greenhouse is ideal, protecting from frost and providing sufficient bright light.   

The entire plant is covered with a white powdery coating, thus the common names, Powdery Thalia and Powdery Alligator-flag.  This powdery substance is water-repelling and also adds muted coloration, enhancing the plants appearance.  

The petioles and basal sheath have internal air cavities, making them buoyant.  

After blooming, the flowers are replaced by smooth seed capsules, each containing 1 seed.  

Under the right conditions, the spreading rhizomes can create a quite large colony of plants.  In locations where the correct growing conditions are absent, this plant is considered endangered.  

Hardy canna is a valuable plant for the environment.  It goes through a natural process called Phytoremediation, which breaks down or removes excess pollutants from standing water. This improves the water quality.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No insect or disease issues.  Its spread through rhizomes can be invasive.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#invasive#water garden#rain garden#native perennials#salt tolerant#rabbit resistant#wetlands#herbaceous#deer resistant#swamps#herbaceous perennials#pond#pond garden#native garden#water plant#marshes#native water plant#wet soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#wetland margins#bog garden#native
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#invasive#water garden#rain garden#native perennials#salt tolerant#rabbit resistant#wetlands#herbaceous#deer resistant#swamps#herbaceous perennials#pond#pond garden#native garden#water plant#marshes#native water plant#wet soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#wetland margins#bog garden#native
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Thalia
    Species:
    dealbata
    Family:
    Marantaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern US, Mexico
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, GA, IL, LA, MO, MS, OK, SC, TX
    Wildlife Value:
    Larval food plant for the Brazilian Skipper butterfly. Also attracts butterflies, carpenter bees, bumblebees and hummingbirds. Ducks feed on the seeds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Water Plant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The small violet flowers that grow in pairs on 8 in. panicles are carried high above the foliage.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The thick ovate to lancelolate blue-green leaves dusted with white powder are edged in purple and can grow up to 18" long. The upper leaf is pale green and hairless, while the underside is a greenish-white and has hairs. The hairs can be found along the base, central veins and margins. In daytime hours, the leaves are displayed in a horizontal position, but will come to attention in the evening, standing more erect.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Like the other parts of this plant, a powdery substance covers the stems.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Invasive Species