Canna angustifolia L.
Canna annaei André
Canna fintelmannii Bouché
Canna hassleriana Kraenzl.
Canna jacobiniflora T.Koyama & Nob.Tanaka
Canna lanceolata Lodd. ex Loudon
Canna lancifolia Schrank
Canna liturata Link ex A.Dietr.
Canna longifolia Bouché
Canna Mexicana A.Dietr.
Canna pedicellata C.Presl
Canna schlechtendaliana Bouché
Canna siamensis Kraenzl.
Canna stenantha Nob.Tanaka
Canna stolonifera D.Dietr.
Canna stricta Bouché
Xyphostylis angustifolia (L.) Raf.
Common Name: Louisiana Canna
Louisiana Canna is a perennial plant producing clumps of stems up to 1.5 metres tall with large leaves. The stems arise from a large, thick and tuber-like rhizome[
]. The plant has the appearance somewhat like a small banana plant.
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for its root, from which an arrowroot-like edible starch can be extracted.
S. America - Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, northwards through C. America to Mexico and Texas; through the Caribbean to Florida, S. Carolina.
Margins of marshes, swamps, ponds, and wet ditches; at elevations from sea level to 100 metres in China[
Requires a deep rich well-drained soil in a sunny position[
]. The plant has large leaves and dislikes windy conditions since this can tear the leaves to shreds[
Slugs love the young growth in spring and can cause serious damage to plants[
Root - cooked[
]. The starch can be extracted and used as an arrowroot[
]. The arrowroot is obtained by rasping the root to a pulp, then washing and straining to get rid of the fibres[
]. Very young tubers can be eaten cooked, they are sweet but fibrous.
One report suggests that the fruit may be edible but gives no further details[
]. As far as I know the fruit is a dry capsule[
Seed - pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water and sow February/March in a warm greenhouse at 20°c[
]. Plant the seeds 2 - 5cm deep in individual pots[
]. Scarifying the seed can speed germination, especially if the seed has not swollen after being soaked[
]. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 9 weeks[
]. Grow the plants on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division of the root clump as the plant comes into growth in the spring. Each portion must have at least one growing point. Pot up the divisions and grow them on in the greenhouse until they are well established and then plant them out in the summer.
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