|canna indica flowers with seed pods|
Canna indica L. (also known as saka siri, Indian shot, canna, achira, bandera, chancle, coyol, or platanillo, Marathi:kardaL करदळ, Sanskrit: vankeLii वनकेळी, sarvajayaa सर्वजया) is a species of the Canna genus, belonging to the family Cannaceae, a native of the southeastern United States (Florida, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina), Mexico, Central America, the West Indies and much of South America. It is also reportedly naturalized in Austria, Portugal, Spain, Azores, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira, most of tropical Africa, Ascension Island, St. Helena, Madagascar, China, Japan, Taiwan, the Bonin Islands, India, Assam, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Andaman Islands, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Java, Malaysia, the Philippines, Christmas Island, the Bismarck Archipelago, Norfolk Island, New South Wales, Queensland, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati, the Cook Islands, the Society Islands, the Caroline Islands and Hawaii.
Canna indica is a perennial growing to between 0.5 m and 2.5 m, depending on the variety. It is hardy to zone 10 and is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite. Canna indica sps. can be used for the treatment of industrial waste waters through constructed wetlands. It is effective for the removal of high organic load, color and chlorinated organic compounds from paper mill wastewater.
The seeds are small, globular, black pellets, hard and dense enough to sink in water. They resemble shotgun pellets giving rise to the plant's common name of Indian Shot. The seeds are hard enough to shoot through wood and still survive and later germinate. According to the BBC "The story goes that during the Indian Mutiny of the 19th century, soldiers used the seeds of a Canna indica when they ran out of bullets."
The seeds are widely used for jewellery. The seeds are also used as the mobile elements of the kayamb, a musical instrument from Réunion, as well as the hosho, a gourd rattle from Zimbabwe, where the seeds are known as "hota" seeds.
In the last three decades of the 20th century, Canna species have been categorised by two different taxonomists, Paulus Johannes Maria Maas from the Netherlands and Nobuyuki Tanaka from Japan. Maas regards C. coccinea, C. compacta, C. discolor, C. patens and C. speciosa as synonyms or varieties of C. indica, while Tanaka recognises several additional varieties of C. indica.
- Canna indica var. indica L.
- A medium sized species; green foliage, oblong shaped, spreading habit; triangular flower stems, coloured green; spikes of flowers are erect, self-coloured red, staminodes are long and narrow, edges regular, petals red, partial self-cleaning; fertile both ways, self-pollinating and also true to type, capsules globose; rhizomes are thick, up to 3 cm in diameter, coloured purple; tillering is prolific. Introduced by Linnaeus.
- Canna indica var. flava (Roscoe ex Baker) Nb. Tanaka
- Yellow bloom. Many plants previously offered as C. lutea fall into this sub-species.
- Canna indica var. maculata (Hook) Nb. Tanaka
- A medium sized species; green foliage, ovoid shaped, branching habit; spikes of flowers are erect, yellow with red spots, staminodes are long and narrow, edges regular, petals green, fully self-cleaning, low bloomer; fertile both ways, self-pollinating and also true to type, capsules globose; rhizomes are thick, up to 3 cm in diameter, coloured white and pink; tillering is average. Introduced by Hook.. Many plants previously offered as Canna lutea fall into this sub-species.
- Canna indica var. sanctae rosea (Kraenzl) Nb. Tanaka
- A small species; green foliage, oval shaped, white margin, branching habit; spikes of flowers are erect, self-coloured pink, staminodes are long and narrow, edges regular, labellum is pink, stamen is pink, style is pink, petals red with farina, fully self-cleaning; fertile both ways, self-pollinating and also true to type, capsules ellipsoid; rhizomes are thick, up to 3 cm in diameter, coloured white and pink; tillering is prolific.
- Canna indica var. warszewiczii (A.Dietr.) Nb.Tanaka
- This variety is distinguishable from C. indica var. indica by having purple-red-margined leaves, purple-red fruits and slightly corm-like thickened terrestrial stem at the base. Additionally to this, there are normally two staminodes , recurved backwards, and the stamen is often strongly reflexed at the apex. These characteristics are fairly stable in this taxon. Sometimes, this variety is confused with C. discolor Lindl., from which it differs in much smaller, deep-red coloured flowers, short and slender rhizomes and chromosome numbers (2n=27 in C. discolor and 2n=18 in C. indica var. warszewiczii)
- Flora Indica, William Roxbergh, 1820
- Kwe World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Canna indica
- Johnson's Gardeners Dictionary, 1856
- Chaté, E. (1867) Le Canna, son histoire, son culture. Libraire Centrale d'Agriculture et de Jardinage.
- Khoshoo, T.N. & Guha, I. - Origin and Evolution of Cultivated Cannas. Vikas Publishing House.
- Cooke, Ian, 2001. The Gardener's Guide to Growing cannas, Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-513-6
- Choudhary et al. (2011) Performance of constructed wetland for the treatment of pulp and paper mill wastewater, Proceedings of World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability, Palm Springs, California, USA, p-4856-4865, 22–26 May.
- Choudhary et al. (2011)Removal of chlorinated resin and fatty acids from paper mill wastewater through constructed wetland. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 56, 67-71, August.
- "Seeds fired from a shotgun", BBC, 9 February 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
- Tanaka, N. 2001. Taxonomic revision of the family Cannaceae in the New World and Asia. Makinoa ser. 2, 1:34–43.
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