The name Canna tuerckheimii has been proposed for conservation, although some authorities still treat this species as Canna latifolia[
Canna anahuacensis Kraenzl.
Canna curviflora Horan.
Canna gemella Nees & Mart.
Canna gigantea F.Delaroche
Canna iridiflora Willd.
Canna latifolia Mill.
Canna neglecta Weinm.
Canna sylvestris Roscoe
Canna violacea Bouché
Flowers and leaves
Photograph by: Dick Culbert
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Canna tuerckheimii is an erect, herbaceous, perennial plant producing clumps of stems up to 5 metres tall with large leaves up to 70cm long and 36cm wide. The stems arise from a large, tuber-like rhizome[
]. With its large leaves sheathing a central stem, the plant has the appearance somewhat like a small banana plant.
The plant is sometimes gathered from the wild for local medicinal use.
Northwest S. America - Ecuador, Colombia; south through Central America to Mexico.
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[
Plants are fast-growing, and can produce a flowering shoot in their first year of growth from seed[
Slugs love the young growth in spring and can cause serious damage to plants[
The fresh bark of the roots is used as a diaphoretic and diuretic[
]. The rhizome is used[
Seed - the different species in this genus often hybridize and so seed cannot be relied upon to breed true. If growing from seed, pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water and sow in the seeds 2 - 5cm deep in individual pots in light shade at 20°c[
]. Scarifying the seed by carefully removing a small part of the outer shell (being careful not to harm the seed itself), to enable it to imbibe water 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 until large enough to plant out.
Division of the root clump as the plant comes into growth. Each portion must have at least one growing point. Pot up the divisions and grow them on until they are well established and then plant them out.
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