Canna Species, 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
Synonym:Canna patens
» View all varieties of Cannas


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

Good Fall Color


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:





Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Alabaster, Alabama

Arley, Alabama

Gadsden, Alabama(2 reports)

New Market, Alabama

Tuscaloosa, 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

Longwood, Florida

Melbourne, 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

Savannah, 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

Mallorytown, Ontario

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(2 reports)

Houston, Texas

Humble, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(3 reports)

Burr Hill, Virginia

Palmyra, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

Puyallup, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

CANOVANAS, Washington Dc

Liberty, West Virginia

Meadow Creek, West Virginia

Muscoda, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 18, 2015, capachos from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

I started in May with about 10 canna indicas from seeds, which I scored and germinated in water. I had a 90% success rate. Today I have beautiful plants that are 6 feet high. I keep them indoors because of the winds here in DFW. The leaves are very delicate for really gusty winds. My large plants take one cup of water a day. They love H2O and the more the faster they grow.


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


On Mar 25, 2011, trackinsand from mid central, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

i received two of these late last fall from Yucca Do Nursery and barely got them in the ground before our florida "winter" set in. i watered them in after planting and we got a fair amount of rain this winter, for a change. other than that, they were on their own. now here it is, march 25 and both plants are growing beautifully and blooming.
be aware that these are not large flowered cannas. anyone wanting a huge punch of color for an area might be disappointed, but for me they are perfect and so delicate looking mixed in among other plants.


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.


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 :(


On May 15, 2009, skaz421 from Wesley Chapel, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

My plant has grown to about 3 feet tall, in full sun. It's in it's 2nd year, and is producing tons of seeds.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 ... read more


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.


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, there... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 see... read more


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.


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.


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 fo... read more


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!