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canna [Lat., = cane], any plant of the genus Canna, tropical and subtropical perennials, grown in temperate regions in parks and gardens for the large foliage and spikelike, usually red or yellow blossoms. Today, most cultivated cannas are hybrids, but two species are found wild in the S United States, one called Indian shot because of the hard shotlike seeds. C. edulis, Queensland arrowroot, is cultivated in the tropics for its rootstock, a commercial arrowroot starch. Canna is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Zingiberales, family Cannaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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