T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Canna Lily (Genus:Canna)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Cannaceae
Genus: Canna
Species: There is about 26 with about 16 cultivars (variety of a plant that has been created or selected intentionally and maintained through cultivation) List of Canna cultivars
Canna species synonyms: Wikipedia lists 170 odd

Canna (or Canna lily, although not a true lily) is a genus of nineteen species of flowering plants. The closest living relations to cannas are the other plant families of the order Zingiberales, that is the gingers, bananas, etc.

The genus is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the New World, from the southern United States (southern South Carolina west to southern Texas) and south to northern Argentina.
Although all cannas are native to the New World, they have followed mankind's journeys of discovery and some species are cultivated and naturalized in most tropical and sub-tropical regions.

The species have large, attractive foliage and horticulturists have turned it into a large-flowered and bright garden plant. In addition, it is one of the world's richest starch sources, and is an agricultural plant. Although a plant of the tropics, most cultivars have been developed in temperate climates and are easy to grow in most countries of the world as long as they can enjoy at least 6–8 hours average sunlight during the summer.

The plants are large tropical and subtropical perennial herbs with a rhizomatous rootstock. The broad, flat, alternate leaves, that are such a feature of this plant, grow out of a stem in a long narrow roll and then unfurl. The leaves are typically solid green but some cultivars have glaucose, brownish, maroon, or even variegated leaves

There are many species and cultivars. Photo below is of the cultivar   Canna x generalis 'Yellow King Humbert'
This lily was growing wild in a damp area.




Canna lily growing wild.


Canna lily growing on the banks of the Te Henui stream.

Flower of the above Canna lily


 

Canna lily buds