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Here is another weird Southeast native that you must see to believe. Thalia is one of the few hardy members of the branch of the ginger family that includes the tropical marantas and calatheas. In mid-spring, the skinny stems grow to 3-4' in height, topped with an 18", thick blue-green canna-like leaf. In mid-June, more skinny stems emerge to 6-8', each topped with clusters of tiny dark purple flowers. Unbenonst to most gardeners, thalia is a carnivorus plant, whose flowers trap flies with the fastest trigger in the plant world...a startling .03 seconds. In 5 years, expect a 10' wide mass of this bold foliaged deciduous perennial. Thalia is native to wet ditches and swamps, so give it plenty of damp to soggy soil.
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