Achira Canna flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 8 feet
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness Zone: (annual)
Other Names: Edible Canna, syn. Canna edulis
This variety of canna originating from South America has edible rhizomes, lower stems, and flowers; very fast growing, tall stems support large green leaves with coppery edges; orange-red flowers in fall; excellent for the back of borders
Achira Canna features bold spikes of orange flag-like flowers at the ends of the stems from late summer to mid fall, which emerge from distinctive scarlet flower buds. Its enormous pointy leaves emerge coppery-bronze in spring, turning green in color with distinctive coppery-bronze edges throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Achira Canna is an herbaceous annual with a rigidly upright and towering form. Its wonderfully bold, coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced garden composition.
This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting hummingbirds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Achira Canna is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
- Bog Gardens
Planting & Growing
Achira Canna will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground. Although it's not a true annual, this fast-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.
Achira Canna is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.