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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Anyone else growing/eating canna?

Anyone else growing/eating canna?

Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 396
I just brought in a wheelbarrow full of canna tubers to store for the winter in my root cellar. My family will eat most of them, and I'll replant the rest in the spring. The variety I'm growing is 'Black Knight'. It's beautiful (grows about 7' tall with dark leaves and red flowers), very productive, and has absolutely no pest problems so far. I was wondering if anyone else is growing and eating canna? My dentist is from Puerto Rico where they are commonly eaten and he said he loves too!

I was doing a little reading about cooking with them and found out that the young leaves are used as wraps, the shoots are used in stir fries and the flowers are edible...I missed out on all those uses this year...have to remember to try those uses next year.

Remember, I'm talking cannas...not callas...callas are poisonous. Ornamental canna lilies are the close cousins to the tropical plant used for arrowroot starch.
Sue M.
user 3284483
South Portland, ME
Post #: 142
Interesting. How do you cook the bulbs? What do they taste like? I'd be interested in hearing more. Are all cannas tasty, or should you concentrate on certain varieties.
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 400
It would be great to find out how much the different varieties vary in taste...I've read they vary in color. My 'Black Knight' has high coloration in it's leaves, but the tubers are very white. I tried growing a few other varieties a few years ago, but those didn't grow out very well for me.

I have roasted and boiled them. The small freshly harvested tubers remind me a little of cauliflower without any brassica edge to them. The large tubers are more starchy. I've read ("Perennial Vegetables", Eric Toensmeyer) that they get sweeter as they sit in storage...we'll see this year as I didn't eat mine last year after much storage time, but I have a lot more this year so we'll see.

Not sure how the commercial arrow root species would do here, but that might be an interesting one to try...though not as ornamental in the landscape.
user 73783162
Farmingdale, ME
Post #: 2
Quite a number of years ago my father gave me a plot of land to do with as I pleased in the garden. At the time I was more into flowers than crops so I decided to plant a similar variety of canna to the one you are planting. Unfortunately we planted late in the season. Also unfortunately it was sold as an ornamental and we were unaware of it's potential edibility. This is something I may try in the spring.
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