Scientific name: Canna indica
What: Tubers, young shoots
How: Pulp to remove starch, cook shoots
Where: Sunny areas, often in landscapes
When: summer, fall
Nutritional Value: Calories
Other uses: They will absorb pollutants/contaminants from wetlands.
Mature canna lilies in the wild.
The leaves look like banana plants and can be used to wrap foods for cooking just like banana leaves.
Mature canna lilies in my backyard.
Edible tuber. Use it just like a potato.
Young edible shoot.
Flowers (not edible).
Canna lilies were a vital food source for Northwestern Native Americans and contain the highest percentage of starch of any known tuber. They can be cooked like potatoes though the natives would also make flour from them. To obtain canna lily flour slice the tubers into 1/4" disks and allow them to dry for a day or two. Then crumble these disks up in a large bowl of water. The starch (flour) will sink to the bottom of the bowl and any fiber will float to the top where it can be collected and discarded. Allow the starch to dry completely then grind/pound it into flour.