Herbs & Plants

Canna edulis

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Botanical Name :Canna edulis
Family: Cannaceae
Genus: Canna
Species: C. indica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales
Syn. : Canna achiras – Gill.,Canna esculenta – Lodd.

Common Names :Arrowroot, Indian Shot, saka siri, Indian shot, canna, bandera, chancle, coyol, or platanillo, Kardal in Marathi, Sanskrit : vankelee, sarvajaya

Habitat :Native of the Caribbean and tropical Americas.By the coast and in temperate valleys of the Andes. Usually found at the edges of moist thickets or in ditches

Canna edulis is a widely  garden plant. It is a small herbaceous perennial plant  growing from 0.5m to 2.5m, depending on the variety. It is hardy to zone 10 and is frost tender. In the northern latitudes, it is in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite.It is tender to hard frosts, but can be grown practically anywhere if its rhizomes are dug up during winter.

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Cultivation:Canna edulis need full sun to partial shade with a well-drained soil. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. The soil is kept moist at all times for optimum growth. Plants are fertilized on a weekly basis with a balanced fertilizer. They are very vigorous growers and will out grow most containers very quickly. Division of clumps in containers should be done on a yearly basis. As flowers fade, the stalks should be cut back to the ground.

Plants commonly die back during cold months, only to leaf out and bloom during warmer months. Plants enjoy regular water during the warm months. Plant in full sun, part sun, or shade. They can be grown in pretty much any type of soil. If growing in cold winter areas, dig up the rhizomes and store them in a cool area for the winter, then plant out after frost has past.

Propagation: By seeds, or by rhizomes.Canna edulis are propagated by division and by seed. The hard seed coat needs to be scarified and soaked in water for 24 hours. Seeds germinate in 14-21 days after sowing.

Edible uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed click to see  
Root – raw or cooked. It is the source of ‘canna starch‘ which is used as an arrowroot. The arrowroot is obtained by rasping the root to a pulp, then washing and straining to get rid of the fibres. This starch is very digestible. The very young tubers can also be eaten cooked, they are sweet but fibrousy. The root can be very large, sometimes as long as a person’s forearm. In Peru the roots are baked for up to 12 hours by which time they become a white, translucent, fibrous and somewhat mucilaginous mass with a sweetish taste. The starch is in very large grains, about three times the size of potato starch grains, and can be seen with the naked eye. This starch is easily separated from the fibre of the root. The roots contain about 25% starch. The dry matter contains about 75 – 80% starch, 6 – 14% sugar, 1 – 3% protein, it is high in potassium, low in calcium and phosphorus. Young shoots – cooked and eaten as a green vegetable. Quite nutritious, containing at least 10% protein. The immature seeds are cooked in fat tortillas.

Ground rhizomes can also be used in baking. Arrowroot was once a vital crop of the Incas.

Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

Leaves (Fresh weight):-

*0 Calories per 100g
*Water: 0%
*Protein: 10g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Root (Dry weight)

*0 Calories per 100g
*Water: 0%
*Protein: 3g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 80g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses: None known

Other uses:
Grown  as an ornamental for its red flowers.The starch from the roots is sometimes used as a laundry starch or for sizing[


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