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Plants of the UNF Campus

Canna flaccida - Wild canna, Bird shot
Family Cannaceae


Over twenty species of Canna are native to warm parts of North and South America. Cannas found in gardens are usually hybrids of these wild species. Canna edulis is a source of arrowroot starch. Wild canna is native to streamsides and wetlands of the southeastern U.S. Showy yellow flowers are held at the top of three to four foot tall stems. Capsules of hard black seeds mature in late summer and fall flowering. Reportedly, the hard, round seeds of cannas have been used as beads and in rattles. The  common name, “bird shot,” implies that it may have been used in place of lead shot.


See plants at pond ‘H’ east of building 6.


Herbaceous plant to about three or four feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun

Water: best in moist soil, tolerates standing water, somewhat drought tolerant

Soil: moisture is critical, no other special requirements

In north Florida, wild canna dies down in winter and reappears the following spring. It grows best in a moist, sunny site but can survive in ordinary garden soil. Wild canna can spread rapidly in a suitable site.

Canna flaccida