Powdery Thalia
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Powdery Thalia
ntroduced Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Powdery Thalia, Powdery Aligator Flag
Botanical name: Thalia dealbata    Family: Marantaceae (Arrowroot family)
Synonyms: Maranta dealbata, Spirostalis biflora

Powdery Thalia is an rhizomatous marsh or marginal aquatic perennial that features long-stalked canna like foliage and violet blue flowers. Plants are 0.7--2.5 m long. Basal leaves are 2--5, and no stem-leaves. Sheath is powdery, hairless, leaf-stalk powdery, hairless; pulvinus yellowish brown to red or purple-brown, 0.6--2.5 cm, hairless. Leaf-blade is ovate, occasionally narrowly elliptic, 17--55 x 7--22 cm, firm, stiff-papery, base rounded, rarely blunt, tip tapering, lower surface powdery, appearing whitish, hairless, upper surface pilose to nearly hairy in basal 0.5--1 cm of blade, including midrib, at tip, and along margin of broader side. Inflorescences are erect, tightly clustered, compact array, 9--31 x 7--18 cm. Flowering stems are 0.5--1.9 m; axis powdery; internodes 2--3 mm; bracts markedly powdery, appearing whitish, red-brown to red-purple beneath waxy coating, orbiculate, strongly cupped, 0.8--1.5 cm, stiff, leathery, hairless. Flowers: sepals 1.5--2.5 mm; outer staminode dark purple, 12--15 x about 6 mm; callose staminode base white to pale purple, margins and tip dark purple, apical rim reduced, petal-like. Fruits nearly spherical to broadly obovoid, 9--12 x 8--11 mm. Seeds dark brown to black, nearly spherical to broadly ellipsoid, 8--10 x 7--9. Powdery Thalia is native to the American continent.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Plantae Paradise, Datyar village near Parwanu, HP.

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