Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Canna indica
(canna lilly)

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Datasheet

Canna indica (canna lilly)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 05 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Canna indica
  • Preferred Common Name
  • canna lilly
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • C. indica is native to South and Central America including the Caribbean, but has been introduced pan-tropically, more recently as an ornamental species. It is also grown for its edible starchy rhizome both in...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Young plant.
TitleYoung plant
CaptionYoung plant.
Copyright©Sheldon Navie
Young plant.
Young plantYoung plant.©Sheldon Navie
Growth habit, showing leaves and red flowers.
TitleHabit
CaptionGrowth habit, showing leaves and red flowers.
Copyright©Sheldon Navie
Growth habit, showing leaves and red flowers.
HabitGrowth habit, showing leaves and red flowers.©Sheldon Navie
Red flowers and immature seed pods.
TitleFlowers
CaptionRed flowers and immature seed pods.
Copyright©Sheldon Navie
Red flowers and immature seed pods.
FlowersRed flowers and immature seed pods.©Sheldon Navie
Flower and leaves of yellow form.
TitleFlowers
CaptionFlower and leaves of yellow form.
Copyright©Sheldon Navie
Flower and leaves of yellow form.
FlowersFlower and leaves of yellow form.©Sheldon Navie
Immature seed pods.
TitleSeed pods
CaptionImmature seed pods.
Copyright©Sheldon Navie
Immature seed pods.
Seed podsImmature seed pods.©Sheldon Navie
Mature seed pod.
TitleSeed pod
CaptionMature seed pod.
Copyright©Sheldon Navie
Mature seed pod.
Seed podMature seed pod.©Sheldon Navie
C. indica: 1, habit; 2, rhizome; 3, inflorescences.

Reproduced from the series 'Plant Resources of South-East Asia', by kind permission of the PROSEA Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia.
TitleC. indica - line drawing
CaptionC. indica: 1, habit; 2, rhizome; 3, inflorescences. Reproduced from the series 'Plant Resources of South-East Asia', by kind permission of the PROSEA Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia.
CopyrightPROSEA Foundation
C. indica: 1, habit; 2, rhizome; 3, inflorescences.

Reproduced from the series 'Plant Resources of South-East Asia', by kind permission of the PROSEA Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia.
C. indica - line drawingC. indica: 1, habit; 2, rhizome; 3, inflorescences. Reproduced from the series 'Plant Resources of South-East Asia', by kind permission of the PROSEA Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia.PROSEA Foundation

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Canna indica L. (1753)

Preferred Common Name

  • canna lilly

Other Scientific Names

  • Canna coccinea P. Miller (1768)
  • Canna compacta Roscoe (1824)
  • Canna edulis Ker-Gawler (1823)
  • Canna limbata Roscoe (1823)
  • Canna lutea Mill. (1768)
  • Canna orientalis Roscoe (1826)

International Common Names

  • English: African arrowroot; arrowroot; canna; edible canna; Indian canna; Indian shot; purple arrowroot; Queensland arrowroot; red canna; shot plant; wild canna
  • Spanish: achira; bijajo; caña comestible; platanillo; yuquilla
  • French: balisier; balisier comestible; canna d'Inde; Canna d'Inde; tous-les-mois
  • Portuguese: cana-de-India

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: albará; bananeirinha-da-Índia; bananeirinha-de-flor; beri; borbuleta; caeté-dos-jardns; cana-da-Índia
  • Cambodia: chék téhs
  • Cook Islands: nuaenga; pia renga; tiare papa‘a
  • Fiji: gasau ni ga; ngasau ni nga
  • French Polynesia: pia-raroto‘a; re‘a pua‘aniho
  • Germany: Indisches Blumenrohr; Westindisches Blumenrohr
  • Indonesia: buah tasbeh; ganyong; ubi pikul
  • Italy: Canna d'India
  • Kiribati: te riti
  • Laos: kwàyz ké; kwàyz ph'uttha son
  • Malaysia: daun tasbeh; ganjong; pisang sebiak
  • Micronesia, Federated states of: luiuenwai
  • Myanmar: adalut; butsarana
  • Netherlands: Indisch Bloemriet
  • Pakistan: kalee
  • Philippines: balunsaying; kukuwintasan; tikas-tikas
  • Samoa: fa‘i masoa; fagamanu; fanamanu
  • South Africa: indiese kanna
  • Thailand: bua lawong; phut; phuttharaksa; phutthason; tharaksa
  • Tonga: misimisi
  • USA/Hawaii: ali‘ipoe; li‘ipoe; poloka
  • Vietnam: chuoosi hoa; dong rieefng; khoai dao

EPPO code

  • CNNCO (Canna coccinea)
  • CNNED (Canna edulis)
  • CNNIN (Canna indica)

Summary of Invasiveness

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C. indica is native to South and Central America including the Caribbean, but has been introduced pan-tropically, more recently as an ornamental species. It is also grown for its edible starchy rhizome both in its native Latin America and in Asia and Africa where introduced, and it is also grown commercially in Australia, as ‘Queensland arrowroot’. Although seen mostly in cultivation, it has naturalised in many parts, has been noted as weedy with the potential to be invasive, and difficult to remove due to its spread by rhizomes. It is noted as invasive on many Pacific islands, but also elsewhere where it has naturalised such as Australia and South Africa. It has also been recorded as invasive in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda and it could easily become invasive in sensitive habitats in many other countries where it is already cultivated.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Zingiberales
  •                         Family: Cannaceae
  •                             Genus: Canna
  •                                 Species: Canna indica

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Canna indica is a problematic species complex. The Cannaceae contains only a single genus, Canna, which has anywhere between 10 and 100 species in it, depending on the taxonomical descriptions used. Certainly, breeding and selection for ornamental varieties has blurred the already inconclusive distinctions between species, and only molecular work could attempt to resolve this issue. Also, numerous, mainly unnamed cultivars exist. In the Andes of South America, two cultivars are well known, however: 'Verdes' with dirty white 'corms' and bright green foliage, and 'Morados' with violet 'corms'. The present-day ornamental garden C. indica, an assortment of probably over 1000 cultivars, most falling into two main groups of complex hybrids: Canna indica x generalis L.H. Bailey (principal progenitors are C. indica, Canna glauca L., Canna iridiflora Ruiz & Pavon and Canna warszewiczii A. Dietr.: flowers up to 10 cm diameter, not tubular at base, petals not reflexed, staminodes and labellum erect or spreading) and C. indica x orchiodes L.H. Bailey (principal progenitors are Canna flaccida Salisb. and C. indica x generalis cvs Crozy canna: flowers up to 20 cm in diameter, tubular at base, petals reflexed, staminodes wavy and exceeded by the labellum). Many cultivars are available in these hybrid complexes, with handsome yellow, pink, orange, red or variegated flowers and green, crimson, purple or variegated foliage.

Description

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C. indica is a rhizomatous, perennial, erect, robust herb, up to 3.5 m tall. Rhizome branching horizontally, up to 60 cm long and 10 cm in diameter, with fleshy segments resembling corms, covered with scale leaves, and thick fibrous roots. Stem fleshy, arising from the rhizome, usually 1-1.5 m tall, often tinged with purple. Leaves arranged spirally with large open sheaths, sometimes shortly petiolate; blade narrowly ovate to narrowly elliptical, up to 60 cm x 15-27 cm, entire, base rounded to cuneate, gradually attenuate to the sheath, apex acuminate, midrib prominent, underside often slightly purplish. Inflorescence terminal, racemose, usually simple but sometimes branched, bearing single or paired, irregular, bisexual flowers; bracts broadly obovate. 1-2 x 1 cm; sepals 3, ovate, acute, 1-1.5 x 0.4-0.9 cm; corolla 4-5 cm long, the lowermost 1 cm fused into a tube, lobes free; lobes 3, linear, 3-4 x 0.3-0.6 cm, pale red to yellow; androecium petaloid and forming the showy part of the flower, composed of an outer whorl of 3 staminodes and an inner whorl of 2 connate staminodes (one of which forms a large lip or labellum) and 1 fertile stamen; outer staminodes spathulate, 4-6 x 1-1.5 cm, often very unequal in length or only 2 clearly visible, fused at the base, reddish, labellum narrowly oblong-ovate, 4-5 x 0.5-0.8 cm, yellow spotted with red; stamen 4-5 cm long, petaloid portion involute, anther 0.7-1 cm long and adnate to the petaloid portion at base; ovary inferior, trilocular, style fleshy, 4-5 cm long, reddish, adnate at base to androecium. Fruit a loculicidally dehiscent ovoid capsule, 3 x 2.5 cm, outside with soft spines. Seeds numerous, globose, 0.5 cm in diameter, smooth and hard, blackish to very dark brown.

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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C. indica is native to South and Central America including the Caribbean, though the exact limits to its native range are unclear (USDA-ARS, 2007). The Americas are definitely the origin of the species, even though the scientific epithet, indica, and some of the common names, e.g. Indian canna, may suggest otherwise.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
-FujianPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
-GuangdongPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
-GuangxiPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
-HainanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
-HunanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
-JiangsuPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
-JiangxiPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
-SichuanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
-YunnanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
-ZhejiangPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)PresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
IndiaPresentIntroduced Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008
JapanPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008Bonin Island
PhilippinesPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
TaiwanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2007
ThailandPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008

Africa

BurundiPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
CameroonPresentIntroduced Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008
ComorosPresentIntroduced Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008
EthiopiaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017
GhanaPresentIntroduced Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008
KenyaPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
MadagascarPresentIntroduced Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008
MalawiPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
RwandaPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
South AfricaPresentIntroduced Invasive Henderson, 2001
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008; Witt and Luke, 2017
UgandaPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
ZambiaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017Naturalized

North America

BermudaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2008
MexicoPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2008
-FloridaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2008
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2008
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008; USDA-NRCS, 2008
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2008
-MissouriPresentIntroduced Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2008
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2008
-TexasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2008
-VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2008

Central America and Caribbean

Antigua and BarbudaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
BarbadosPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
BelizePresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
Costa RicaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008
CubaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
DominicaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
Dominican RepublicPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
El SalvadorPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
GrenadaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
GuadeloupePresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
GuatemalaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
HaitiPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
HondurasPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
JamaicaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
MartiniquePresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
Netherlands AntillesPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
NicaraguaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
PanamaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
Puerto RicoPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008; USDA-NRCS, 2008
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
Trinidad and TobagoPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008
United States Virgin IslandsPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2008

South America

ArgentinaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
BoliviaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008
BrazilWidespreadNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008
ColombiaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
EcuadorPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
French GuianaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
GuyanaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
ParaguayPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
PeruPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
SurinamePresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
UruguayPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008
VenezuelaPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2008

Europe

ItalyPresentIntroducedRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2008Sicily
PortugalPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AzoresPresentIntroducedRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2008

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Batianoff and Butler, 2002
Cook IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008
FijiPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008
GuamPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
KiribatiPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
NauruPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
New ZealandPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008Invasive on Kermadec and Raoul islands
NiuePresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008
Norfolk IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
PalauPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008
Pitcairn IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008
SamoaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
TongaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2008
TuvaluPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
VanuatuPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2008

History of Introduction and Spread

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It was introduced widely and is now cultivated pantropically and in other warmer regions of the world. In many regions, including South-East Asia and the Pacific it has also become naturalized. It is widespread and invasive on Pacific islands (PIER, 2008), is invasive in Queensland (Batianoff and Butler, 2002) and South Africa (Henderson, 2001). It is likely to bemuch more widespread than indicated, and could be present in almost every tropical country in the world. It is also likely to be present in more sub-tropical and Mediterranean regions. Protected over winter, it will also be found in many temperate countries as a garden ornamental, and even though it can tolerate light frosts, it cannot survive persistent cold temperatures and it could not naturalise in such climates.

Risk of Introduction

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The small-flowered Indian canna (C. indica), but not the common ornamental species or cultivars, is declared a category 1 invasive plant in South Africa (ARC, 2006). Due to its value as an ornamental and its widespread availability, also via internet seed suppliers, many of the numerous cultivars are likely to be further and uncontrollably introduced.

Habitat

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C. indica grows in thickets, crowding out other plants. In Hawaii, USA, it has become naturalized mainly in disturbed mesic to wet forest at altitudes up to approximately 610 m, and in Fiji it is naturalized and often frequent around villages, along roadsides, in coconut plantations, in clearings, and in forest near streams, at elevations from near sea level to 450 m, and in Tonga, it is common in low moist areas (PIER, 2008). In its native area, e.g. Nicaragua, it is recorded as 'frequent in woods and disturbed areas' (Flora of Nicaragua, via Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Wetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Present, no further details Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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C. indica is noted as a persistent weed in abaca (Musa textilis) crops in the Phillipines (Tabora, 1979), and is found in coconut (Cocos nucifera) plantations in Fiji.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Cocos nucifera (coconut)ArecaceaeOther
Musa textilis (manila hemp)MusaceaeOther

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

C. indica is a problematic species complex in which flower colour as well as length, number and shape of staminodes are extremely variable. Sometimes chromosome countings of 2n = 27 are reported (triploid species), but Nobuyuki Tanaka et al. (2009) record and confirm many reports of a diploid chromosome number 2n=18. Numerous, mainly unnamed cultivars exist. In the Andes of South America, two cultivars are well known: 'Verdes' with dirty white 'corms' and bright green foliage, and 'Morados' with violet 'corms'. There are so many species and cultivars of C. indica and the genus seems to be in no danger of genetic deterioration. However, it is important to conserve older and less popular cultivars and clones, to conserve the vast genetic diversity. No comprehensive germplasm collections exist at present. Selection among locally available cultivars should be a first step to improve the crop. Manual cross-pollination for the production of new hybrid cultivars is possible. Hybridization of C. indica is presently done solely for the purpose of producing new ornamental cultivars.

Reproductive Biology

C. indica reproduces almost entirely from rhizomes, and rhizome cuttings develop into harvestable plants in 6-8 months after planting. A rhizome is considered mature when the triangular slit in the outer scale leaf of the rhizome has turned purple. In tropical regions flowering starts a few months after planting and flowers continue to appear as long as the plant lives. In regions where frost can be expected rhizomes should be lifted and overwintered at about 7°C. Reproduction in diploid forms may occur by seed, the species being autogamous (Rambuda and Johnson, 2004).

Physiology and Phenology

C. indica is mostly propagated by rhizome cuttings ('corms'). Sometimes seeds are used, but because of the risk of hybridization, rhizomes are preferred to maintain the genetic identity of the clones. Young tips of rhizomes are used for vegetative propagation, not the old brown parts. Small portions of the rhizomes, bearing at least two healthy buds, are planted 50 cm apart, about 15 cm deep. Entire rhizomes can also be planted. If planted too close, the plants soon become too crowded, resulting in poor performance. It is best to plant during the rainy season, otherwise watering is needed. C. indica is planted in beds that have been ploughed or dug thoroughly and mixed with plenty of manure and compost. Weeding is required and earthing up is recommended. Grass mulch on the beds helps to conserve the moisture in the soil and adds nutrients but may be a hiding place for beetles. Monthly manuring with liquid manure or artificial fertilizer gives better results.

Environmental Requirements

C. indica grows well in various tropical and sub-tropical climates. A well distributed annual rainfall of 1000-1200 mm is satisfactory. It seems to be daylength neutral, as it grows and flowers under a broad range of photoperiodic conditions. It is affected by drought, but tolerates excessive moisture (but not waterlogging). It is very tolerant of shade. Normal growth occurs at temperatures above 10°C, but it also survives high temperatures of 30-32°C and tolerates light frost. C. indica grows from sea-level up to 1000 (-2900) m altitude. It thrives on many soils, including those marginal for most other tuber crops (e.g. weathered, acidic latosols). Preferred soils are deep sandy loams, rich in humus. It tolerates a pH range of 4.5-8.0.

Growth and Development

Rhizome cuttings develop into harvestable plants in 6-8 months after planting. In tropical regions flowering starts a few months after planting and flowers continue to appear as long as the plant lives. In regions where frost can be expected rhizomes should be lifted and overwintered at about 7°C.

A rhizome is considered mature when the triangular slit in the outer scale leaf of the rhizome has turned purple.

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
A - Tropical/Megathermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Tolerated Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration24number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall10003000mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Armillaria luteobubalina Pathogen Whole plant
Brevipalpus phoenicis Herbivore Whole plant
Cercospora cannae Pathogen Whole plant
Dysmicoccus brevipes Herbivore Whole plant
Helicotylenchus dihystera Parasite Whole plant
Pinnaspis strachani Herbivore Whole plant
Tomato spotted wilt virus Pathogen Whole plant

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Generally, C. indica is a hardy plant with only a few diseases and pests. Fusarium, Puccinia and Rhizoctonia spp. are possible fungal diseases, and a number of common crop viruses can also infect the plant. Other species-specific strains have been identified and given species rank in India, Cercospora cannae (Kar and Ray, 1985) and Pucciniacannacearum (Bagyanarayana and Ramesh, 1999). Beetles and grasshoppers may feed on the foliage, and cutworms (Agrotis spp.) attack the rhizomes.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Seed may be bird-dispersed (PIER, 2008), but spread, at least locally, is more likely to be gradual via rhizomes. Rhizomes along riverbanks may also be washed downstream, especially during flooding. Therefore, C. indica appears to be able to spread locally via seed and also vegetatively, offering multiple options for dissemination.

However, the principle means for long-distance dispersal, internationally and nationally, will be the sale and planting of C. indica as an ornamental species. Seed are also widely available via internet-based seed suppliers.

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Floating vegetation and debris Yes
Soil, sand and gravel Yes
Water Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive
Environment (generally) Negative
Human health Positive

Economic Impact

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There is clearly a positive economic and social impact of C. indica, as a source of starch for many rural people throughout the humid tropics, and for farmers in Australia where it is grown commercially. It also offers aesthetic benefits to people from its attractive flowers. No negative economic effects have been detailed, though control costs may be significant in areas where it has invaded. C. indica is also an alternative host for a number of crop pests, including Banana bunchy top virus, Cucumber mosaic virus, Tomato spotted wilt virus, and a range of pathogenic diseases.

Environmental Impact

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C. indica has a tendency to form clumps via vegetative spread of the rhizomes, and out-competes native vegetation, though there is no specific information on damage caused to the environmentor biodiversity. Rhizome extracts have been shown to have molluscicidal properties, which were investigated for their potential use as a natural pesticide, however, it may mean that native snail species may be harmed where C. indica is invasive.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Fast growing
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Monoculture formation
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Pest and disease transmission
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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C. indica produces edible rhizomes which can be eaten raw but are usually consumed after boiling or cooking in various ways. Flour can be made from the rhizomes by peeling, drying and milling. The starch is used in foods and also as sizing or laundry starch. In Vietnam, it is used for noodles. In Australia, starch is produced from C. indica and traded internationally as Queensland arrowroot (about 2000-4000 t per year). In South-East Asia, C. indica is mostly planted for home consumption and seldom enters the markets, and it is most important in its native South America. Plants grown from rhizome tips can be harvested 4 months after planting, but harvesting after 8 months gives higher yields as rhizomes have swollen to their maximum size, though no later than 10 months when they become tough and less suitable for consumption or starch production. Rhizome yield ranges from 23 t/ha at 4 months, 45-50 t/ha at 8 months, and 85 t/ha after 12 months. Reported starch yields are 4-10(-17) t/ha. Freshly harvested rhizomes should be handled with care, but as they are mainly consumed locally, the time between harvesting and consumption is usually short. For commercial production of flour, rhizomes are processed immediately after harvesting, with the rhizome grated, water added and the fibrous pulp is decanted. Cleaned rhizomes can be stored safely for several weeks under cool and dry conditions, but to store rhizomes for longer periods, they should be kept frost-free but not too dry (in Japan, for example, in pits 30 cm deep in the field).

Young shoots can be eaten as a green vegetable, and leaves are suitable for wrapping and as plates. Both leaves and the rhizomes can be used as cattle feed. C. indica is also well known as a garden ornamental because of its beautiful flowers and foliage of various colours. The black and hard-coated seeds are used as beads or made into rosaries. They are also used in percussion instruments and rattles, especially in Africa. There are numerous medicinal uses of rhizome extracts reported from South-East Asia, against headaches, diarrhoea, yaws, acute hepatitis, traumatic injuries, as a diuretic, and against nose bleeding. Fumigated stems and leaves are used as an insecticide, and all plant parts but especially the rhizomes make effective molluscicides. C. indica is also one of several plant species that is used for waste water treatment.

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed

General

  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Flour/starch
  • Vegetable

Materials

  • Pesticide

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical

Prevention and Control

Top of page Control

Movement control

Moves are being made to alert the horticultural industry, particularly suppliers of ornamental plants via nurseries and seed catalogues, of the environmental risks posed by invasive plants. C. indica is one of the species now being brought to their attention as an invasive species in Australia and the USA.

Physical control

C. indica is very difficult to control using physical or mechanical means, due to the presence of rhizomes, even a small fragment of which, if left in the soil, will regrow.

Biological control

No attempts have been made at identifying potential biocontrol agents, and most pests that attack C. indica are generalists, however, new, species-specific fungi Cercospora cannae (Kar and Ray, 1985) and Puccinia cannacearum (Bagyanarayana and Ramesh, 1999) have been proposed from India, and which may merit further investigation.

Chemical control

No information is available on the use and efficacy of herbicides on C. indica.

Control by utilization

Noting the local and commercial use of the rhizome as a food source, it would appear that C. indica is a suitable candidate for control by utilization, whereby at least the cost of control could be repaid by sales of the harvested plant parts.

Bibliography

Top of page Gade DW, 1966. Achira, the edible canna, its cultivation and use in the Peruvian Andes. Economic Botany, 20:407-415.

National Research Council, 1989. Lost crops of the Incas: little-known plants of the Andes with promise for worldwide cultivation. Washington DC, National Academy Press, 26-37.

Ochse JJ, Bakhuizen van den Brink RC, 1980. Vegetables of the Dutch East Indies. 3rd English edition (translation of 'Indische Groenten', 1931). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Asher & Co., 95-96.

Rogers GK, 1984. The Zingiberales (Cannaceae, Marantaceae, and Zingiberaceae) in the southeastern United States. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum, 65:29-39.

Segeren W, Maas PJM, 1971. The genus Canna in northern South America. Acta Botanica Neerlandica, 20:663-680.

References

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ARC, 2006. Legislation on weeds and invasive plants in South Africa. Pretoria, South Africa: Agriculrural Research Council. www.agric.za/home

Bagyanarayana G, Ramesh P, 1999. Puccinia cannacearum, a new rust taxon on Canna indica. Indian Phytopathology, 52(1):98-99

Batianoff GN, Butler DW, 2002. Assessment of invasive naturalized plants in south-east Queensland. Plant Protection Quarterly, 17(1):27-34

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2007. Flora of China Web. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Herbaria. http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/

Gade DW, 1966. Achira, the edible C. indica, its cultivation and use in the Peruvian Andes. Economic Botany, 20:407-415

Henderson L, 2001. Alien weeds and invasive plants. Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No 12. Roodeplaat, South Africa: ARC, Plant Protection Research Inst

Kar AK, Ray JB, 1985. Two new species of dematiaceous fungi. Indian Phytopathology, 38(1):180-183

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2007. Flora of China checklist. USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://mobot.mobot.org/W3T/Search/foc.html

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2008. Tropicos database. St Louis, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

National Research Council, 1989. In: Lost crops of the Incas: little-known plants of the Andes with promise for worldwide cultivation Washington DC, USA: National Academy Press, 26-37

Ochse JJ, Bakhuizen van den Brink RC, 1980. In: Vegetables of the Dutch East Indies. 3rd English edition (translation of 'Indische Groenten', 1931) Amsterdam,, The Netherlands: Asher & Co, 95-96

PIER, 2008. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. USA: Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Rambuda TD, Johnson SD, 2004. Breeding systems of invasive alien plants in South Africa: does Baker's rule apply? Diversity and Distributions, 10(5/6):409-416

Rogers GK, 1984. The Zingiberales (C. indicaceae, Marantaceae, and Zingiberaceae) in the southeastern United States. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum, 65:29-39

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2008. Flora Europaea, Database of European Plants (ESFEDS). Edinburgh, UK: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/FE/fe.html

Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, 2008. Australia's Virtual Herbarium. Sydney, Australia: Royal Botanic Gardens. http://avhtas.tmag

Segeren W, Maas PJM, 1971. The genus C. indica in northern South America. Acta Botanica Neerlandica, 20:663-680

Tabora PC Jr, 1979. Weed control in abaca in the Philippines. Weed control in tropical crops [Moody, K. (Editor)] Weed Science Society of the Philippines Manila Philippines, 164-168

Tanaka N, Uchiyama H, Matoba H, Koyama T, 2009. Karyological analysis of the genus Canna (Cannaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution, 280(1/2):45-51. http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=104878

USDA-ARS, 2008. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2008. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Witt, A., Luke, Q., 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa, [ed. by Witt, A., Luke, Q.]. Wallingford, UK: CABI.vi + 601 pp. http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158959 doi:10.1079/9781786392145.0000

Contributors

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29/02/08 Original text by:

Nick Pasiecznik, Consultant, France

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