Canna Lily Facts
- Interestingly, the simple term of Canna Lily serves as the collective name of any of the related flowering plants placed within a specific genus. Currently, scientists place a total of 19 distinct species within this impressive group.
- Continually ongoing investigations could potentially add to that number, however. The shared name of this remarkable group actually remains somewhat deceptive in nature. Despite that name, this quite beautiful plant does not represent a true lily.
- In point of fact, its closest relatives include the various forms on gingers and bananas. Numerous tribes of Native Americans also cultivated these incredible plants for centuries.
- Due to that, this wonder of Nature represented one of the earliest domesticated plants in the region of the world in which it evolved. This occurred because, surprisingly, the starchy root itself can be safely consumed.
- Many of the varieties of this remarkable beauty now find themselves facing numerous threats. These primarily consist of habitat loss and climate change, like many other species. As a result, several types of Canna Lily now appear on the IUCN Red List.
Canna Lily Physical Description
Given the sheer number of different species of Canna Lily, certain characteristics quite understandably vary widely. Conversely, however, some basic physical traits naturally remain consistent between each of them.
Firstly, all presently recognized members of this genus share basic environmental requirements. Each of them evolved in either of two specific climates. That holds true since all appear as either tropical or subtropical perennial herbs.
Secondly, the abundant and remarkable leaves of each of them also display the same basic patterns. That’s due to the fact that the foliage develops as broad and flat in all of the accepted forms. But, the impressive nature of these does not end there.
In fact, these grow out of a stem in a long narrow roll and then unfurl to their full extent. Both the leaves and stems of the plants typically display a solid green color. Yet sometimes, both show either maroon, brownish, or even variegated in color.
All known forms of the Canna Lily share similarities in the nature of their blooms. That’s because the flowers typically develop with brilliant colors, such as hues as orange, red or yellow. Some forms of this lily sometimes grow to heights of as much as 9.8 ft (3 m).
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Monocots
- Order: Zingiberales
- Family: Cannaceae
- Genus: Canna
Canna Lily Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Canna Lily genus evolved as native to a somewhat limited portion of the globe. More specifically, this region consists of the tropical and sub-tropical regions of both Americas. This also includes the southern United States, in North America.
That mainly consists of the area from South Carolina to Texas. Further, they appear as deep into South America as parts of the country of Argentina. However, the genus now exists in areas with compatible climates throughout the world, due to commerce.
Within their native range, the plants nevertheless only inhabit certain climates. They therefore show themselves to be moderately adaptable. The plant nevertheless thrives best in most warm climates, as long as it acquires at least 6-8 hours of sunlight.
Many uses further exist for this remarkable plant, varying in different parts of the world. Some uses of the Canna Lily include using the seeds in jewelry. Others, meanwhile, actually include fermenting the petals to make an alcoholic beverage.
But the usefulness of this fascinating and beautiful flora does not stop there. That holds true given the fact that it’s also used in the production of a purple dye. Finally some individuals even use smoke from the burning plant as an insecticide.