Plumeria Flowers In Chicago

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Canna Facts

The canna family, Cannaceae, is comprised of one genus Canna and more than fifty species. Most gardeners choose canna plants for their colorful leaves and blooms to enhance their garden's ornamental or decorative appearance.

Canna edulis, native to Central and South America, is the one species important to agriculture. The roots are rich in starch. It is commercially cultivated in Australia for a product called “Queensland Arrowroot” and in the Caribean for a thickening agent called “tous-les-mois”.

The rhizomes of Canna edulis are similar in taste to white potatoes if cooked, but because of their high content of fiber they are not as palatable. The green leaves and stalks are used as food for cattle.

Another highly appreciated species is Canna indica, called Ali'ipoe and Li'ipoe on the Hawaiian Islands. The ripe seeds are used for making Hindu and Buddhist rosaries in India and throughout Southeast Asia to count mantras,chants, or prayers. The leaves are used for food wrappings in tropical regions of Africa.

Other species include Canna glauca and Canna gigantea which are native to Brazil. Canna glauca is used as a cooked vegetable, and Canna gigantea is used as a diuretic. Canna speciosa is cultivated in the Sierra Leone and is used as a seasoning similar to turmeric.

Next, for your FREE tropical plant guide, Grow Your Own Tropical Garden, visit Plumeria Care.