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Canna is often confused with:
Aspidistra elatior Aspidistra elatior
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Typha latifolia Typha latifolia
Allium hollandicum
Thymus vulgaris Thymus vulgaris
Canna has some common insect problems:
Japanese Beetle
Slugs & Snails on Ornamental Plants
Canna has some other problems:
Winter Injury

Indian Shot Canna

Other plants called Indian Shot:

Phonetic Spelling
KAN-nah
Description

Cannas, or Arrowroot, is a tall, leafy, tropical plant with gladiolus-like flower spikes that bloom atop erect stems sheathed in large paddle-shaped leaves. Despite the common name, Canna Lily, it is not a lily. The Canna genus includes about 10 species with numerous cultivars. Commercial growers typically sell Canna plant cultivars that range from 1.5 feet tall to 8 feet tall with flower colors that include red, orange, pink, yellow, cream and some bi-colors. The foliage colors can also vary from shades of green or bronze to striped/variegated and provide ornamental value when plants are not in flower.

Cannas can be a challenge to grow. Although it is a tropical plant, most cultivars have been developed in temperate climates and are easy to grow in most countries of the world as long as they receive at least 6–8 hours average sunlight during the summer, and are moved to a warm location for the winter. They do best in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun. However, rhizomes may rot in poorly drained wet soils. In USDA zones 7 through 10, you can leave rhizomes in the ground; however in zones 5b and 6a, you should dig up the rhizomes in fall and store the bulbs over winter. The plants will sustain injury if left in the ground at temperatures below 25 degrees F. Cut the plants to the ground immediately after the first frost and lift the rhizome clumps for winter storage in a dry medium such as peat or vermiculite and store in a cool dry location than does not fall below 40 degrees F. In the spring, you can return the rhizomes to the ground, placing them 4 to 6 inches deep after threat of frost has passed. After the blooms have faded in late summer, remove the flowering stems. If you grow the plant in containers, stored them in their containers over winter. As finicky as the plant sounds, it does tolerate drought and poor soil, but prefers a rich, well-drained soil with abundant water and a site that gets full sun in the morning. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Common diseases include aster yellows, bud rot, rust, and mosaic virus. Rabbits, Japanese beetles, caterpillars, slugs and snails have been known to chew on the foliage.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Tall erect herb with giant, sheathing leaves
  • Terminal racemes with large carotenoid flowers
  • Fruits a prickly 3-valved capsule.

Gigantic erect, succulent herb.

utilized in massing, background plants in beds, center plant in smaller beds, container plants, highway color in beds by DOT; rhizomes need to be dug up and stored overwinter in colder climates; numerous cultivars, including dwarfs. 

GLADIOLUS GROUP - staminodes broad, overlapping, flower appearing more full; more popular selections. 

ORCHID GROUP - staminodes narrow, segregated, flower appearing smaller & more exotic. 

Prefers full sun in rich fertile soils; intolerant of killing frosts; numerous pest & disease problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Black Knight'
    4'-6' tall, red flowers and smoky purple foliage, strong stalks
  • 'Brandywine' - Longwood Hybrid Canna
    3' tall, heavily blooming red flowers, green foliage with red leaf margins
  • 'Chesapeake' - Longwood Hybrid Canna
    4' tall, yellow flowers that fade to white over time, green foliage
  • 'Lily Thai'
  • 'Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont'
    4' tall, pink flowers with green foliage
  • 'Phasion' Tropicanna┬« - Variegated Canna
    4'-6' tall, orange flowers, leaves are green with red and yellow streaks
  • 'Striata' - Variegated Canna
    5' tall, orange flowers, green leaves with cream colored streaks
  • 'Striped Beauty' - Variegated Canna
    3'-5' tall, yellow buds open to cream colored flowers with pink bracts, green leaves with yellow streaks, requires overwintering
Tags:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Black Knight'
    4'-6' tall, red flowers and smoky purple foliage, strong stalks
  • 'Brandywine' - Longwood Hybrid Canna
    3' tall, heavily blooming red flowers, green foliage with red leaf margins
  • 'Chesapeake' - Longwood Hybrid Canna
    4' tall, yellow flowers that fade to white over time, green foliage
  • 'Lily Thai'
  • 'Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont'
    4' tall, pink flowers with green foliage
  • 'Phasion' Tropicanna┬« - Variegated Canna
    4'-6' tall, orange flowers, leaves are green with red and yellow streaks
  • 'Striata' - Variegated Canna
    5' tall, orange flowers, green leaves with cream colored streaks
  • 'Striped Beauty' - Variegated Canna
    3'-5' tall, yellow buds open to cream colored flowers with pink bracts, green leaves with yellow streaks, requires overwintering
Tags:
#rain garden#walkway planting#red#sun tolerant#rich soil#wetlands#wildlife#loamy soil#sun#stream banks#wet soils tolerant#orange#flower#large leaves#pond edge#hedge#fall flowers#showy leaves#sunshine#screening#purple stems#summer flowers#riparian#bulb#ponds#red flowers#full sun#showy#variegated leaves#pond margins#organic soils#poor soils tolerant#container plant#moth larvae#yellow#annual flowers#full sun flowers#annuals#herbaceous#summer bulbs#wildlife plants#yellow flowers#pink flowers#accent#perennial bulb#small groups#container#wet sites#well-drained soil#colorful#flowering#fantz#tropical feel#ebh-g#border#hummingbirds#ccp#ebh#accent plant#water garden#cream flowers#hedges#erect#moist#pool#pond#orange flowers#loamy soils tolerant#showstopper#walkways#containers#humidity tolerant#loam#small group plantings#flowers#mass planting#annual bulb#flower arrangements#moths#small group#heat tolerant#clay soils tolerant#drought tolerant#larval host plant#colorful leaves#annual#large flowers#showy flowers#wildlife plant#moist soil#pond garden#full sunlight#attractive foliage#larval host#summer interest#red stems#fall interest#color#borders#groundcover
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Canna
    Family:
    Cannaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Cannas are used in agriculture as a rich source of starch for human and animal consumption.
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical east and west Africa, Central and South America
    Wildlife Value:
    Cultivars with red blooms attract hummingbirds. Host plant for Brazilian Skipper caterpillar and moth.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Screening
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Tolerates drought, poor soil, wet soil, heat, and humidity.
    Bulb Storage:
    For Zones 6 & 7, harvest rhizomes in fall, dry, and store in dry peat or vermiculite at 41-50 degrees F (5-10 degrees C). Mulch in Zone 8.
    Edibility:
    Canna root is a source of edible starch.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Bulb
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    A 3-valved, prickly capsule, often warted. Many rounded seeds with very hard endosperm.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Colored Sepals
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Gladiolus-like flowers that bloom atop erect stems sheathed in large paddle-shaped leaves. Available in many colors: rose, pink, red, yellow, orange, salmon, and bicolored. Terminal, bracteated, raceme. Asymmetrical, bold carotenoid pigments of red to orange to yellow; sepals 3, short. petals 3, narrow, united into a basal tube; staminodes 4, three broadly obovate overtopping petals, showy, one with remenant of anther sac or minute lobe; stamens 1, petaloid with solitary marginal anther. Typically blooms from July to October.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Pinnatifid
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are large, broad, pinnately nerved, with a distinct midrib. Alternate, simple, sheathing, 2-ranked, gigantic, to 2' long x 4-12" wide, green to reddish-purple, or yellowish variegated; blade broad elliptic to lanceolate, acute, broad cuneate to round, entire. Foliage colors vary from shades of green or bronze to striped/variegated and provide ornamental value when plants are not in flower.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Erect, 1-5' tall, often reddish-purple.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Pond
    Pool/Hardscape
    Riparian
    Vertical Spaces
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Humidity
    Poor Soil
    Salt
    Wet Soil