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PlantFiles: Canna Lily, Indian Shot
Canna indica

Family: Cannaceae (kan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Canna (KAN-uh) (Info)
Species: indica (IN-dih-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Canna compacta
Synonym:Canna edulis
Synonym:Canna limbata
Synonym:Canna lutea

» View all varieties of Cannas

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

47 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Scarlet (Dark Red)
Gold (Yellow-Orange)
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 36 photos.
Click here to view them all!


18 positives
5 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coastalzonepush On Mar 1, 2013, coastalzonepush from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

the blooms on this original canna are a nice contrast to the hybrids' huge ruffly petals.

i'm afraid of having to throw my clump away because the new leaves are showing the mottling and streaking of mosaic virus.

the seeds are like marbles and kind of fun to play with, haha

Neutral IRC On Jul 23, 2010, IRC from Concord, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Very easy to grow, looks great in containers, and hummingbirds love them but they spread very fast quickly crowding anything they're planted with. Dies off above ground at first frost but comes back vigorously when the soil warms in the spring.

Positive antsinmypants On May 20, 2009, antsinmypants from Marietta, MS (Zone 7b) wrote:

I love this plant. It was my first canna. BTW my canna looks like the ones in the pictures posted by GranvilleSouth. When I looked at the first pictures here I thought that I must be wrong about the type of canna I had. Thank you GranvilleSouth for posting your pictures and adding your information. I will post some pictures of mine as soon as I get a new camera... Mine broke last week :(

Positive GranvilleSouth On Feb 22, 2008, GranvilleSouth from (Zone 10a) wrote:

Don't mean to be a pain but out of the photos posted here, only about 2 or 3 stand any chance of being C. indica. The majority are hybrids, probably C. indica x generalis. There is a big difference, especially if you plan to breed them or collect seed.
The photos I am posting are of some C. indica growing wild in a vacant lot. Notice the defining characteristics: small red flowers, large seed pods & the hard, large round seed. There are at least 27 species in the Canaceae genus.

Notably, C. edulis or Queensland Arrowroot is not on the list, so there may be more. Kennedy's picture btw looks like C. edulis. It is practically indistinguishable from C. indica except for the yellow fringe on its flower & a red rhizome.

Neutral jdiaz On Dec 28, 2007, jdiaz from Chowchilla, CA wrote:

In protected locations (near walls), they bloom year round and are evergreen. If planted out in the open, they get burned by ocassional frost and i just cut them back in December, which is when they show winter stress. By late January they regrow and are once again blooming by April.

Neutral frostweed On Mar 2, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Canna Lily, Indian Shot Canna indica is Naturalized in Texas and other States.

Neutral 1cros3nails4gvn On Sep 30, 2006, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

this is one of the few cannas that is not a hybrid. there is a native yellow type that grows here in bluffton and hilton head, sc around the edges of lagoons (thats what we call small man made ponds mainly around golf courses and in plantations) and little creeks as well as other moist areas.

Positive sgray54 On Sep 10, 2006, sgray54 from Connersville, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

I recieved a bag of bulbs from my father-in-law, and decided to go ahead and plant them late in the season. I have seen other people that have the same thing and theirs aren't half as tall and aren't doing nearly as well as ours are. Connersville, In is apparenly a good place to grow them.

Positive Arrie On Jul 16, 2006, Arrie from Pearland, TX wrote:

Definitely grows well in our area, really with very little care. Guess you could probably classify me as a collector.... try to find the most unusal canas and let them have at it... they grow beautifully, we have just about every color and type in the rainbow; from the very tall to the very short, green follage to purple and a really pretty verigated one called the tropicana. One of the things I hope to learn is the name of my wonderful finds.

Positive naien On Jul 21, 2005, naien from Capistrano Beach, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Very attractive foliage and flowers. Seeds are uniformly round and bead-like. Tubers can be dried and ground for baking or eaten raw or cooked. You can start seeds in a jar full of water and hydrogen peroxide - scarify first.

Positive julie88 On Aug 7, 2004, julie88 from Muscoda, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

Living in S.W. Wisconsin, I had no idea that the plant I remember from my childhood home of Oklahoma would grow in this climate. Much to my surprise and utter amazement, it not only grows, but when properly treated, it multiplies!

After growing someone else's un-named "hand-me-downs" for the past four years, I've become addicted to having them in my garden, in-ground and in containers. For the beauty they offer and countless ways in which they can used, I'll gladly lift and store the tubers to enjoy again next season.

Positive pacificdawn On Jun 6, 2004, pacificdawn from Haughton, LA wrote:

I am happy to report that cannas like it in NW Louisiana. They multiply rapidly. I am now adding to the variety that I have . My most recent purchases are Princess Di, Mystique, Tropicanna, Maude Malcolm, Cleopatra, Miss Oklahoma, Madame Butterfly,Indian Shot, Journey's End, Wyoming, and A Pale Yellow.
Since the laws for septic systems here have changed ( you have to install a sprinkler system that sprays the filtered water on top of the yard), my downhill natured yard has been collecting more water than usual and I figured the cannas , along with elephant ears , will take up the extra moisture. I love the variated colors of the leaves. When the season is over and the stalks turn dead, I often just mow over them with the mulcher mower and the next year they pop up with strong and smiling faces.

I have found the leafrollers a true menace with my first cannas on my other property. I will use the sevin dust, otherwise they will destroy the strength and beauty of the plants. I have noticed that within two years of of squashing worms that it hasn't made a difference and they seem to increase and the cannas do not appear as healthy. Thanks for the tip!!!!

Positive nick89 On May 31, 2004, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I think cannas are excellent for tropical effect and the slender blooms are a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies, especially the cloudless giant sulphur. The growth rate is superb. I received several pieces from a neighbor and now 2 years later have formed an extensive network of rhizomes in the garden. The only problem is that they are susceptible to canna leaf rollers that disfigure foliage and to Japanese beetles.

Positive Bob_Gailer On Dec 19, 2003, Bob_Gailer wrote:

The dried hard seeds are cherished by musicians for their use in shakers. The Dandemutande e-mail list has hosted a discussion on this topic. Shona (Zimbabwe) makers of "hosho" (shakers) refer to the seeds as "hota". Here are some excerpts:

"the "hota" seed comes from certain varieties of Canna Lily (Canna indica), a tender perennial that grows in both moderate temperate and tropical regions and has been cultivated widely as an attractive ornamental. The dry papery seed pots contain a bundle of beautiful shiny black "hota" seeds." (Keith Kirkwood)

"According to Andrey Tracey, there are two varieties of Canna Lilly, those cultivated for their flower and those that grow more in their wild state. The cultivated variety tend to have larger and softer seeds, therefore not as useful to the hosho gourds. It would be the wild variety that produce the hota seeds found in the hosho in Zimbabwe." (Steven Golovnin)

"I've had remarkable luck getting canna lillies to grow from seed - probably because I didn't know it was so hard! I start many things from seed each spring and some things come up quickly and others more slowly - and the canna seeds are among the very slowest to germinate. I do have a green house which may help. But I just keep the flats wet and eventually they come up - it can take 6 weeks or more. One year I tried soaking and scoring the seeds and I don't believe it made much difference. I've started seeds from the small flowered cannas that were grown in California and some from a Dandemutade subscriber advertising hota from Zimbabwe. Most are orange/yellow flowered. This year some pure red flowers (and correspondingly amazingly bright red seed pods) have appeared. All produce masses of hota." (Becca Moeller)

Neutral dogbane On Nov 9, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've always admired cannas - in someone else's garden. My grandmother used to grow them and they were quite invasive (I grew up in coastal Louisiana with very wet soil). The leaf rollers do me in, though. I can't justify spraying them because I've seen too many hummingbirds visiting the flowers.

Positive plantzperson On Oct 29, 2003, plantzperson from Zachary, LA wrote:

Cannas are a true Southern pass-along plant and grow like wildfire here in south Louisiana (U.S.) I have the tall growing ones with the deep red, long slender blossoms. These are very attractive to hummingbirds, and they bloom in the shade. I have gotten a start of other colors from pieces that were thrown out on trash piles; I have actually seen them thrown on the ground where they will root and keep growing.

They are hardy here and easy to grow. Leaf rollers are the only pests I know of - I usually try to pick and kill them by hand, but it is a constant job.

Positive meBaLADY2 On Oct 28, 2003, meBaLADY2 from Oak Grove, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted my first cannas ever this year and I am so pleased with them. The blooms were amazing ad their growth rate is unreal! I just moved from California to the rural northeastern area of Louisiana, and I am amazed at the growth rate of most plants here compared to California's drier climate.

I'm no expert at gardening, but I am having a ball learning, and am in child-like awe of watching my gardens grow and prosper.

Positive amorning1 On Oct 24, 2003, amorning1 from Islamorada, FL wrote:

Very Positive. I picked-up a bulbulous root section someone had thrown out in thier trash pile. First I thought it was a banana, then a travelers palm, then I thought it was a bird of paridise, Now that it has leaves I figured out it was indeed Canna. I can't wait to see what color flowers it has so I can determine the cultivar.

Positive barb_n_steve_al On Sep 24, 2003, barb_n_steve_al from Gadsden, AL wrote:

I love my Cannas. My mother originally planted them in our flower beds and my fiance and I just recently (this past spring) dug them all up and transplanted them to new areas of the yard in new flower beds. But what we didn't know was that they produced seeds. I had never noticed this before and we don't know if all the plants do this or just some. So far we found a seed pod on only one plant. I'm harvesting seeds off my plants now. I got a new plant (for me) on a recent camping trip at the campgrounds we were at in Tennessee. My mother and her family were originaly from Tennessee, and my grandmother had this same plant in her garden when I was a child, so I feel she may have brought the seed to Alabama from Tennessee.

Positive suncatcheracres On Aug 31, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

Cannas are native to the tropics and subtropics. Canna flaccida, the Golden Canna, also called the Bandana of the Everglades, is the only canna native to Florida, and lives in great profusion in the swamps and beside ponds. Supposedly the seed can live for over 600 years and will sprout after fire. We had a large fire in the Mallory Swamp several years ago here in Northcentral Florida, zone 8b, and our Suwannee Audubon group recently took a field trip into the burned out swamp and reported seeing literally acres of yellow cannas starting to reclaim the swamp.

Undoubtedly the English and Europeans had a field day when they discovered these large, banana like plants with brightly colored flowers, and happily hybridized to their heart's content. Now the garden centers seem to always have some new variety with different colored or marked leaves, or a new color flower, and they are really fun to collect when you can grow them in the ground year round. I have had them survive in the ground in a suburb of Atlanta, zone 7b, and they positively thrive here in Northcentral Florida, zone 8b, with all our heat and humidity. Of course bugs love them, and I have had a problem with huge multicolored grasshoppers eating holes right through the rolled up, emerging leaves this year, but I don't use any pesticides, so I just pick the bugs off and kill them. My plants still flower profusely.

Every Spring I look for canna tubers packed in net or plastic bags with breathing holes, with packing material, in all the garden sections at the discount stores like WalMart, K-Mart, Home Depot, even the grocery stores. I try to feel through the bags to see if the tubers are nice and hard, as soft, mushy or black tubers have probably died. Many nursery centers have plants in pots, but this is much more expensive than buying your own tubers. But buying plants in flower assures that you are getting the colors you want, as sometimes the bags of tubers are incorrectly labeled, and you get some surprises. But lovely surprises.

Cannas are very pretty planted around koi and watergardens, or in a low, boggy spot in the yard with plenty of sun. I have read that they are a great water filter, and people around here in the country often have their washing machines out in a shed with the soapy water emptying onto the ground, and that's where their cannas thrive the best. I've found them to be heavy feeders, and they will bloom better if fertilized quite frequently. I like to use Miracle Gro Bloom fertilizer every three or four weeks.

I never realized until recently that cultivated cannas could be grown from seed, so I am now looking for 'Seven Dwarfs' and 'Tropical Rose,' which my Southern Living Garden Book tells me are short cannas that can be grown from seed. Right now I have about 8 different varieties of tall cannas, some approaching six feet tall, all different colors, and some with handsomely marked leaves, and I'm always on the lookout for a new variety.

This is a really spectacular plant to grow, and makes a bold tropical statement in the yard, especially around a swimming pool. If you live too far North to grow them in the ground, they can be grown quite well in large pots or tubs on a sunny patio or terrace. As mentioned above, they can be dug up before frost, dried out and stored in paper bags (I like shoe boxes) in a cool, dark place.

Cannas are quite frost sensitive, and my 'Tropicana,' a beautiful red leaved, orange flowered variety, was set back this past Spring by a very late, light frost, and has never recovered enough this Summer to ever flower. It is finally growing new leaves, in August, so I'm hopeful I will get at least one flower before the next frost! All of my other cannas have flowered profusely, despite getting nipped by that frost too, so perhaps 'Tropicana' is an overbred, more finicky primadonna, but it surely is beautiful.`

Positive DavidPat5 On Aug 30, 2003, DavidPat5 from Chicago, IL wrote:

Though I wish they would flower a bit longer, they still have nice foliage. I plant them in front of my Castor Bean plants. In my zone (zone 5) they must be dug up in the fall or they will rot during the winter. Just dry them off, put them in a paper bag, and place in a cool dark place till spring. The plants I started from seeds have made nice house plants and they will flower the first year if placed outdoors. These plants really divide. I planted 5 bulbs the year before and dug up 12 in the fall. This year I had over 25. The yellow flowering Cannas look more like an Iris to me than a Canna but the foliage has green and white stripes. Very pretty.

Negative purplehbee On Jun 23, 2003, purplehbee from Deer Park, TX wrote:

I think they are very pretty and love them in my yard. It's those leaf curlers I don't like.

Canna leaf rollers tie leaves in cylinders, leaving holes in straight rows across the leaves; to control them, apply a systemic insecticide.

Positive CANNALILY On Sep 8, 2002, CANNALILY from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

Canna Lilies are very beautiful. There are many types, with bloom colors ranging from off-white to stunning reds, pinks, yellows, spotted yellows, peach, salmon, tangerine, iridescent orange and peach. The large leaves can be plain green, or variegated, bronze or dark purple-colored; similar in form to Banana (Musa) leaves.

Really a carefree plant, but susceptible to "leafrollers", a small caterpillar that instills itself inside a newly-forming leaf, and weaves a silky web around the leaf edge preventing the new leaf from opening. You can use Sevin Dust, or Orthene mixed with water and sprayed on about once month.

These beautiful plants are associated with the Victorian era, when they were very popular. I am really enjoying growing them. I have about fourteen different Cannas with different bloom colors, and some with different colored foliage.

Positive meiyu On Aug 18, 2002, meiyu from san antonio, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I never thought these would grow so easily! I only bought a 5 gallon, pot that had 4 little plants which I broke apart and spaced out. At first they looked like they were going to die, but within 4-6 weeks, they were blooming, and they've multiplied like mad!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Arley, Alabama
Gadsden, Alabama (2 reports)
New Market, Alabama
Goodyear, Arizona
Litchfield Park, Arizona
Altadena, California
Carlsbad, California
Chowchilla, California
Concord, California
Huntington Beach, California
Manteca, California
Menifee, California
Sacramento, California (2 reports)
Temecula, California
Clifton, Colorado
Bristol, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut
Fort Myers, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Old Town, Florida
Orange Springs, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Ormond Beach, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Shalimar, Florida
Venus, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Braselton, Georgia
Carrollton, Georgia
Jeffersonville, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Connersville, Indiana
Davenport, Iowa
Mechanicsville, Iowa
Lansing, Kansas
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Deridder, Louisiana
Houma, Louisiana
Annapolis, Maryland
Glencoe, Minnesota
Marietta, Mississippi
Springfield, Missouri
North Las Vegas, Nevada
Hudson, New Hampshire
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Verona, New Jersey
Roswell, New Mexico
Rochester, New York
Fletcher, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Havelock, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Spencer, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Canovanas, Puerto Rico
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina
Prosperity, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Culleoka, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Collinsville, Texas
Conroe, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Denison, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas
Humble, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Burr Hill, Virginia
Palmyra, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Puyallup, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Liberty, West Virginia
Meadow Creek, West Virginia
Muscoda, Wisconsin

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