Thalia geniculata

Fire flag, alligator flag

Native to Florida

Species Overview

Fire flag is a large emersed plant that grows from a thick rhizome. It grows in swamps and wet ditches from the peninsula west to the central panhandle of Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). It blooms from summer to fall and occurs almost always (estimated probability 99%) under natural conditions in wetlands.

Species Characteristics

Large simple leaves on long stalks are among fire flag’s most notable features. The leaves are broadly lance-shaped, with broadly rounded bases. They can be up to eight inches wide and more than 2 1/2 feet long. Several leaves growing together are sheathed at the base. Fire flag flowers are paired; that is, two flowering bracts emerge on top of a tall flower stalk. Multiple small purple flowers hang from the bracts. The flowers have three petals.