Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thalia geniculata var Ruminoides

Red stemmed Flag, Thalia geniculata var Ruminoides
This plant from southern regions of the United States and into South America is sold as a decorative water plant and, as the name suggests, it has bright red lower stems topped with wide "flag"/ Canna like leaves. It forms a small clump to about 1.5 metres. Like many so called water plants, it is perfect;y happy growing in garden soil which goes from boggy after heavy rain to setting like concrete a few months later. This "hardiness"aspect should set off alarm bells for those concerned about yet another exotic plant becoming a noxious weed. Best to remove flower stems before they set seed just in case a bird carries them off far and wide. It is tolerant of light frost and last winter my plant was hardly affected by the cold days. The genus is named for the German botanist and scholar Johannes Thal (1542-1583)

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