By Will Summers – Master Gardener
Canna or “canna lily” is the common name of a locally common perennial summer flowering bulb.
Canna indica is a native plant to North and South America. The species ranges from South Carolina south to Argentina.
There are several species of canna with varied vegetative and flowering traits, but the local C. indica is the most common.
Another species, C. discolor, may be used as an important food crop in South and Central America.
Cannas closely resemble ginger and banana plants, as they are subsequently related. Cannas are not a true lily, but are monocots, which places them in the broad category of plants that includes corn and other grasses.
The plant has many uses including jute for rope making, purple dye from the seed and insect repellent from smoking leaves. In India, the starchy roots are fermented into alcohol drinks.
Explorers first introduced cannas into Europe prior to 1658. Since the first plants came from the Americas, the scientific name was dubbed C. indica for its origin in the West Indies, not from the Far East. Today, cannas
may be found throughout
Europe, Africa and Asia. They are so common in Africa that many people think they are native.
Cannas look like very tropical
plants with attractive wide,
green to bronze, almost corn-like leaves. The flowers are brilliant
but secondary in appearance to the attractive foliage. Plants grow four or five feet tall under normal circumstances. Shorter garden varieties produce flowers
of brilliant yellows, oranges and reds.
In the wild, canna species color is typically red and grows up to a height of eight feet or more.
For More, Please Read The August 12 Edition Of The Nashville News.
Canna Bulbs Are Great For Summer Gardens