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Canna glauca L.

Family Name: Cannaceae
Synonyms: Canna angustifolia, Canna annaei, Canna fintelmannii, Canna hassleriana, Canna jacobiniflora, Canna lancifolia, Canna liturata, Canna longifolia, Canna mexicana, Canna pedicellata, Canna siamensis, Canna stenantha, Canna stolonifera, Canna stricta
Common Name: Aquatic Canna
Full Sun: 6-8h Lots of Water Fruit & Vegetable Ornamental Flowers Aquatic &Hydrophyte Woody Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Herbaceous), Aquatic & Hydrophyte (Emergent, Waterside / Marginal)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Tropical America
Native Habitat Aquatic
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a herbaceous perennial which has unbranched stems and grows up to 1 m tall. 
Foliage Leaf blades are light green, narrowly ovate, measures 28 - 70 cm long and 1.5 - 14 cm wide, and clasping the stem at the base; both sheath and blade are glaucous, base cuneate, apex acute.
Flowers Inflorescence, raceme, at least 10 flowers per inflorescence, each flower is 7 - 10 cm long, yellow, bracts ovate; sepals narrowly elliptic, petals tube-like.
Fruits Fruit capsule, measures 2 - 5 cm long and 2 - 4 cm wide, globose to ellipsoid shape, young immature fruits are covered with small wart-like pattern on the fruit surface. When the fruit matures, it releases numerous seeds through the valves at the fruit top. Seeds are 0.7 - 1 mm x 0.6 - 0.8 mm, and brown mottled with black. 
Habitat It grows in marshes, ponds and swamps.
Etymology The genus term Canna means cane, reed which relates to the growing habit similar to grass in wetlands.  The specific epithet glauca means greyish-green, which refers to its leaf. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Stems)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : Its underground stems (rhizomes) is starchy and therefore eaten as a staple in the Andean areas of Southern America. The rhizomes were used as famine food during World War II.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils
Landscape Uses Pond / Lake / River, Marsh / Bog, Container Planting

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Propagation Method Seed, Root Cutting, Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Cuneate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Individual Flower Shape Tubular
Inflorescence Type Raceme

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Seed Colour(s) Black, Brown
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Numerous (>20)

Image Repository



Master ID 481
Species ID 1777
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 August 2021.