This herbaceous perennial is a member of the Cannaceae family that is most closely related to banana, ginger, and bird of paradise.  A native of Brazil and Costa Rica, it has smooth, unbranched, stout stems that are purplish green and sheathed with purple rimmed green leaves.     The leaves are  oblong with a heart shaped base and up to 1.5′ long.  The crimson flowers are up to 3″ long and appear in terminal simple racemes from late summer into fall when they give way to light red prickly seedpods up to 1″ in diameter. The flowers are not as large as those of the hybrids and are therefor less susceptible to rain damage.  A good choice for a container, border, or tropical garden.  The genus name, Canna, comes from the Greek word kanna meaning reed.  The specific epithet,  warscewiczii, honors Joseph Warsczewicz 19th ce Polish gardener and plant collector who travelled in Latin America collecting orchids and eventually became the supervisor of the botanic gardens in Krakow.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Crimson flowers  up to 3″ long in terminal simple racemes from late summer into fall

Size: 5-6′ H x 3′ W

Light:Full sun

Soil:Fertile, consistently moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 9-10

Care: Fertilize and deadhead

Pests and Diseases: Slug, snails

Propagation: Seed, division

Companion Plants:Banana, elephant ear, angel’s trumpet


By Karen