Canna Lily – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.
Canna Lily (Canna indica)
Also known as saka siri, Indian shot, canna, bandera, chancle, coyol, or platanillo. The canna lily is a coarse perennial herb, 90 centimeters (36 inches) to 3 meters (10 feet) tall. The plant grows from a large, thick, underground rootstock that is edible. Its large leaves resemble those of the banana plant but are not so large. The flowers of wild canna lily are usually small, relatively inconspicuous, and brightly colored reds, oranges, or yellows. The seeds are small, globular, black pellets, hard and heavy enough to sink in water. They resemble shotgun pellets giving rise to the plant’s common name of Indian Shot.
Where to FInd: As a wild plant, the canna lily is found in all tropical areas, especially in moist places along streams, springs, ditches, and the margins of woods. It may also be found in wet temperate, mountainous regions. It is easy to recognize because it is
commonly cultivated in flower gardens in the United States.
Edible Parts: The large and much-branched rootstocks are full of edible starch. The younger parts may be finely chopped and then boiled or pulverized into a meal. Mix in the young shoots of palm cabbage for flavoring.