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canna indica - L.

Common Name Indian Shot
Family Cannaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Original habitat is obscure, but it is found by the coast and in temperate valleys of the Andes[97].
Range S. America. W. Indies. Locally naturalized in the warmest parts of S. Europe[50].
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
canna indica Indian Shot


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canna_indica_Blanco1.4-cropped.jpg
canna indica Indian Shot
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
canna indica is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. It is in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen in October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Root
Edible Uses:

Root - cooked. The source of 'canna starch', used as an arrowroot[97, 177]. The arrowroot is obtained by rasping the root to a pulp, then washing and straining to get rid of the fibres[2]. The very young tubers are eaten cooked, they are sweet but fibrousy[97, K]. Roots contain about 25% starch[61]. There is one report that this plant has an edible fruit[177] but this is somewhat dubious, the fruit is a dry capsule containing the very hard seeds[K].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Demulcent  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  VD  Women's complaints

The plant is used in the treatment of women's complaints[218]. A decoction of the root with fermented rice is used in the treatment of gonorrhoea and amenorrhoea[218]. The plant is also considered to be demulcent, diaphoretic and diuretic[218].

References

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Dye  Fibre  Insecticide  Paper

The plant yields a fibre - from the stem? - it is a jute substitute[114]. A fibre obtained from the leaves is used for making paper[189]. The leaves are harvested in late summer after the plant has flowered, they are scraped to remove the outer skin and are then soaked in water for 2 hours prior to cooking. The fibres are cooked for 24 hours with lye and then beaten in a blender. They make a light tan brown paper[189]. A purple dye is obtained from the seed[114]. Smoke from the burning leaves is said to be insecticidal[218].

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Requires a deep rich well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. The plant has large leaves and dislikes windy conditions since this can tear the leaves to shreds[200]. This species is probably hardy in the mildest areas of Britain but even then it should be given a good mulch if left in the ground overwinter[1, 200]. Plants have survived temperatures down to about -5°c overwinter with us[K]. This species is often grown as a summer bedding plant in Britain, especially in sub-tropical bedding schemes. In colder areas of the country the tubers can be harvested in late autumn after the top growth has been killed back by frost and stored over winter. They should be kept in a cool but frost-free place covered in moist soil or leaves[1]. Plants are cultivated for their edible root in the Tropics. Slugs love the young growth in spring and can cause serious damage to plants[233].

References

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

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Propagation

Seed - pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water and sow February/March in a warm greenhouse at 20°c[1, 138]. Plant the seeds 2 - 5cm deep in individual pots[1]. Scarifying the seed can speed germination, especially if the seed has not swollen after being soaked[124, K]. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 9 weeks[138]. 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. Root cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Botanical References

50200

Links / References

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Readers comment

Susan Sackinger   Sun Jul 3 06:50:22 2005

The immature seeds are used in tortillas.

The spherical, black, mature seeds are used as beads in jewelry, rosaries, and as spacers. It can also be shot from a BB-gun (not recommended, but tested)

   May 13 2014 12:00AM

Seeds are so hard in this plant, they were used as buckshot at one time. They are round and black, and about the size of a "BB". Plant reproduces by tuber and seed. Large leaves provide enough shade to help keep my house cool in the summertime by shading the sun hitting the brick wall. I had collected 3-4 tubers from a wild source here in South Louisiana about 15 years ago, and now they cover the backyard. I have seen red and yellow flowers.

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