CANNA indica

Indian Shot



Height: 2-6' (60-180cm)
Flowering Time: Summer
Flower Colour: White, yellow, orange, pink, red

Botanical Classification:


Angiospermae (Angiosperms)
Subclass: Monocotyledonae (Monocotyledons)
Superorder: Commelinidae (Commelina Superorder)
Order: Zingiberales (Ginger Order)
Family: Cannaceae (Queensland Arrowroot Family)
Genus: Canna (Canna)
Species: indica (Indian)

Canna indica is a very impressve plant for the back of a border or in a conservatory. It is often used in municipal bedding schemes to give a tropical look. It has large, lush, wide leaves with prominent veins. In summer, it produces a cluster of large flowers somewhat like a gladiolus, in yellows, oranges, pinks and reds, sometimes with spots or splodges of other colours. The leaves are sometimes tinged with bronze or red.

As it is a tropical plant, it cannot survive outside in the UK, but it can be treated like a Dahlia, with the tubers being kept in a garage or shed during the winter once the foliage has died down.

The seeds are large and very hard, so were once used as shot, which accounts for the common name.


Harvesting and Growing from Seed:

Seed Pod

Each flower produces its own seedpod, which is rubbery and covered with tiny bobbles which rub off when the pod is fully ripe.


The seeds are large round or oval woody balls. There are several seeds in each pod.


The seedling has one large curled leaf.

Seed sowing and Germination

Spring: Seeds sown inside in spring germinated in 11 days. Seeds sown in a heated propagator in spring germinated in 7 days.

Seeds may germinate faster if nicked and soaked before sowing.

(You can check the meaning of any technical terms new to you in the Botany section of the site)

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