seeds of Canna indica, African arrowroot

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Canna indica Samen
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Canna indica is a plant species that is commonly referred to as African arrowroot, Indian shot, edible canna or purple arrowroot. Canna indica also has several synonyms that include Canna annei Andre, Canna aurantiaca Roscoe and Canna barbadica Bouche. The original habitats of this plant species include Mexico, most of Central America, West Indies and the United States. Canna indica has also found a new home in South East Asia and most of Sub-Saharan Africa. Canna indica is a perennial hermaphrodite that can grow to a height of 0.5 to 3 m. The leaves are large and wide measuring up to 50 cm and 25 cm respectively. The large leaves grow outward overlapping over one another and end up covering the stem. This regular occurrence has the effect of making the plant resemble a miniature banana tree. The flowers can be one of three colours which include yellow, red or a mix of the two. The rhizomes of Canna indica are large and edible. Commonly known as arrowroots, the rhizomes can be eaten raw or pounded to retrieve starch granules. Arrowroots are a popular dish in Australia and the plant is cultivated all over the country for this very purpose. The people that reside in the tropics, on the other hand, value this plant for its ornamental value. Canna indica has beautiful flowers and foliage that can enhance the aesthetics of local surroundings. The leaves of the plant contain a special fibre which can be used to make paper. The leaves can also be used as plates or to wrap various goods owing to their size. Canna indica can easily grow in altitudes of up 2000 m. The plant grows best in fertile, well-drained soils that are either slightly acidic or are of neutral pH. It takes between 6 to 8 months for the plant to grow from small cuttings, mature and be ready for harvesting.
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