• General
  • Distribution
  • Impact
  • Management
  • Bibliography
  • Contact
  • Canna indica (Photo: Jim Space, PIER)
  • Canna indica (Photo: Shirley Denton http://www.simple-grandeur.com/usage.php)
  • Canna indica (Photo: K Braun, Swaziland s Alien Plants Database)
Common name
gasau ni ga (English, Fiji), balisier rouge (French), pia renga (English, Cook Islands (Aitutaki)), African arrowroot (English), fagafaga (English, Futuna), bakare kare (Hausa, Nigeria), gwangwa (English), bakalele (Hausa, Nigeria), Queensland arrowroot (English, South America), achira (English, Andes), nuaenga (English, Cook Islands), gwangwaama (English), toolima (South American Creole), apeellap (English, Puluwat), luiuenwai (English, Pohnpei), fagamanu (English, American Samoa & Samoa), English shot (English, South America), chupa flor (Spanish), riti (English, Kiribati), mongos halum-tano (English, Guam), oruuru (English, Puluwat), calenda (English, South America), te misimisi (English, Tonga), canna lily (English), canna (English), poloke (English, Hawaii), Fanamanu (English, Samoa), fa'i masoa (English, American Samoa & Samoa), pia-raroto'a (English, French Polynesia), tous-les-mois (French), Indian shot (English), Balisier comestible (French), poloka (English, Hawaii), ali'ipoe, li'ipoe (English, Hawaii), tiare papa'a (English, Cook Islands (Mangaia))
Canna edulis , Ker-Gawl.
Canna bifida , Schult.
Canna floribunda , Bouché
Canna fulgida , Bouché
Canna fulgida , Bouché
Canna heliconiifolia , Bouché
Canna formosa , Bouché
Canna humilis , Bouché
Canna exigua , Bouché
Canna densifolia , Bouché
Canna ehrenbergii , Bouché
Canna commutata , Bouché
Canna compacta , Bouché
Canna cinnabarina , Bouché
Canna aurantiaca , Roscoe
Canna aureovittata , Lodd.
Canna bidentata , Bertol.
Canna carnea , Roscoe
Canna cearensis , Huber
Canna chinensis , Willd.
Canna coccinea , Link
Canna coccinea , Mill.
Canna coccinea , Mill.var. sylvestris(Roscoe) Regel
Canna coccinea , Mill.var. bicolorKraenzl
Canna compacta , Roscoe
Canna crocea , Roem. & Schult.
Canna crocea , Lag. ex Rchb.
Canna discolor , Lindl.
Canna ellipticifolia , Stokes
Canna edulis , KerGawl.
Canna esculenta , Lodd. ex Loudon
Canna flavescens , Link
Canna indica , L.var. nepalensis(Bouché) Hook.f.
Canna lutea , Mill.var. genuina Kraenzl.
Canna lutea , Mill.
Canna lutea , Mill. var. aurantiaca (Roscoe) Regel
Canna limbata , Roscoe
Canna lanuginosa , Roscoe
Canna lambertii , Lindl.
Canna lagunensis , Lindl.
Canna indica , L.var. limbata(Roscoe) Petersen
Canna laeta , Bouché
Canna leptochila , Bouché
Canna indica , L.var. maculataHook.
Canna indica , L.var. speciosa (Roscoe) Hook.f.
Canna indica , L.var. patens Aiton
Canna indica , L.var. coccinea(Mill.) Aiton
Canna indica , L.var. edwarsiiRegel
Canna lutea , Mill.var. pallida(Roscoe) Regel
Canna barbadica , Bouché
Canna achiras , Gillies
Canna heliconiifolia , Bouché var. xalapensis(Bouché) Kraenzl
Canna indica , L.var. rubra Aiton
Similar species
Canna indica is a native of tropical America and is a very popular ornamental plant throughout the tropical world. This plant has become an invasive in Pitcairn and in New Zealand, where it grows in thickets, crowding out other plants. It is spread by rhizomes making it difficult to remove.
Species Description
Canna indica is an upright perennial rhizomatous herb (Foxcroft and RIchardson, 2003). It is \"not usually over 5 ft high; leaves rather fleshy, with thin margins, usually not more than 1 ft. long and half as broad, lanceolate to sub-orbicular, veins arching-parallel. Flowers red, yellow or variegated, showy, the staminodia black, capsular, nearly globose, enclosing a variable number of round, shiny black seeds\" (Stone, 1970. In PIER, 2003).
There are cultivated hybrids of C. indica. There are ten species of Canna to be found in the neotropics (Hiltje Maas., pers.comm., 2005).
The plant is used in traditional medicine and the rhizome is used in traditional foods. Seeds are used in jewellery making and the fibre from the leaves is used to make paper. Seeds may have been used in flintlock muskets when lead shot wasn't available. The small BB-like seeds of Indian shot are commonly used in seed bracelets and gold earrings also. (Wayne's Word, 1998)
Habitat Description
In Hawai‘i, “naturalised primarily in disturbed mesic to wet forest, 10-610m” (Wagner et al. 1999. In PIER, 2003). In Fiji, “this distinctive plant is naturalised and often frequent around villages, along roadsides, in coconut plantations, in clearings, and in forest near streams, at elevations from near sea level to 450 m” (Smith, 1979. In PIER, 2003).
Propagates by seed and rhizomes, (PIER, 2003).
Cannas are popular cultivated flowers in tropical and temperate gardens. (Wayne's Word, 1998)

Principal source: Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk, (PIER), 2004. Canna indica

Compiler: IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review: Dr. Hitje Mass. Herbarium Division \ Department of Plant Ecology and Evolutionary Biology \ University of Utrecht. The Netherlands.

Publication date: 2006-04-11

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2024) Species profile: Canna indica. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/speciesname/Canna+indica on 20-04-2024.

General Impacts
Grows in thickets, crowding out other plants. It is difficult to remove due to its spread by rhizomes (PIER, 2003).
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Canna indica
Informations on Canna indica has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Canna indica in information
Arrival date
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Grows in thickets, crowding out other plants. It is difficult to remove due to its spread by rhizomes (PIER, 2003).
Red List assessed species 0:
Management information
24 references found for Canna indica

Management information
PIER (Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk), 2002. Canna indica
Summary: Ecology, synonyms, common names, distributions (Pacific as well as global), management and impact information.
Available from: http://www.hear.org/pier/species/canna_indica.htm [Accessed 23 June 2003]
Swaziland s Alien Plants Database., Undated. Canna indica
Summary: A database of Swaziland s alien plant species.
Varnham, K. 2006. Non-native species in UK Overseas Territories: a review. JNCC Report 372. Peterborough: United Kingdom.
Summary: This database compiles information on alien species from British Overseas Territories.
Available from: http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3660 [Accessed 10 November 2009]
General information
Bingelli, P. & Starmer, J. 1997. Pitcairn Island. Aliens 6 (Newsletter of the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group). In: Varnham, K. (2005) Non-native species in UK Overseas Territories: a review. JNCC Report 372. Peterborough, United Kingdom.
Blench, R. 2003. Hausa names for plants and trees (Draft). Overseas Development Institute.
Summary: This draft paper gives the hausa names for plants and trees.
Centre des ressources biologiques. Plantes tropicales. INRA-CIRAD. 2007.
Summary: Available from: http://collections.antilles.inra.fr/ [Accessed 31 March 2008]
Conservatoire Botanique National De Mascarin (BOULLET V. coord.) 2007. - Canna indica Index de la flore vasculaire de la R�union (Trach�ophytes) : statuts, menaces et protections. - Version 2007.1
Summary: Base de donn�es sur la flore de La R�union. De nombreuses informations tr�s utiles.
Available from: http://flore.cbnm.org/index2.php?page=taxon&num=dc87c13749315c7217cdc4ac692e704c [Accessed 26 March 2008]
DeFilipps, R.A., Maina, S.L., and Crepin, J. 2004. Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana). Department of Botany, Natural Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Washington D.C.
Summary: This report gives information about plants of the Guianas and their introduction to Europe.
D�az-Betancourt, M., L�pez-Moreno, I.R., Rapoport, E.H., Ghermandi, L. , Raffaele, E. and Ladio, A. 2001. Weeds as a future source for human consumption. Plants For A Future.
Summary: This paper gives information about edible plants in Mexico and Argentina.
Florence J., Chevillotte H., Ollier C. & Meyer J.-Y. 2007. Canna indica Base de donn�es botaniques Nadeaud de l Herbier de la Polyn�sie fran�aise (PAP).
Summary: Base de donn�es sur le flore de Polyn�sie Fran�aise.
Available from: http://www.herbier-tahiti.pf/Selection_Taxonomie.php?id_tax=8766 [Accessed 26 March 2008]
Fournet, J. 2002. Flore illustr�e des phan�rogames de guadeloupe et de Martinique. CIRAD-Gondwana editions.
Foxcroft, L.C. and Richardson, D.M. 2003. Managing alien plant invasions in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Plant Invasions: Ecological Threats and Management Solutions. 385-403.
Summary: This paper gives details about the invasive plant species in the Kruger National Park.
Groves, R.H. (Convenor), Hosking, J.R., Batianoff, G.N., Cooke, D.A., Cowie, I.D., Johnson, R.W., Keighery, G.J., Lepschi, B.J., Mitchell, A.A., Moerkerk, M., Randall, R.P., Rozefelds, A.C., Walsh N.G., and Waterhouse, B.M. 2003. Weed categories for natural and agricultural ecosystem management. Bureau of Rural Sciences, Canberra.
Summary: This document gives the status of all weed species found in Australia.
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2004. Online Database Canna indica
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=42413 [Accessed December 31 2004]
Kingston, N and Waldren, S; 2004. A conservation appraisal of the rare and endemic vascular plants of Pitcairn Island Biodiversity and Conservation
MacKee, H.S. 1994. Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultiv�es en Nouvelle-Cal�donie, 2nd edn. MNHN, Paris.
Summary: Cet ouvrage liste 1412 taxons (esp�ces, sous esp�ces et vari�t�s) introduits en Nouvelle-Cal�donie. L auteur pr�cise dans la majorit� des cas si l esp�ce est cultiv�e ou naturalis�e.
Meyer, J.-Y., Loope, L., Sheppard, A., Munzinger, J., Jaffre, T. 2006. Les plantes envahissantes et potentiellement envahissantes dans l archipel n�o-cal�donien : premi�re �valuation et recommandations de gestion. in M.-L. Beauvais et al. (2006) : Les esp�ces envahissantes dans l�archipel n�o-cal�donien, Paris, IRD �ditions, 260 p.+ c�d�rom.
Oberholzer, I.G. and Hill, M.P. 2001. How safe is the grasshopper Cornops aquaticum for release on water hyacinth in South Africa? In: Biological and integrated control of water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes. 82-88. Julien, M.H., Hill, M.P., Center, T.D. and Jianqing, D. (eds). ACIAR Proceedings 102.
Summary: This paper gives information about the impacts of Cornops aquaticum on plants in South Africa.
Smith, C.W., Stemmermann, L., Higashino, P.K., and Funk, E. 1986. Vascular Plants of Pu uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Hawaii. Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. University of Hawaii.
Summary: This report gives information about the vascular plants present in Pu uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park in Hawaii.
Wayne s Word, 1998. Canna indica: Indian Shot. A Newsletter Of Natural History Trivia.
Summary: Interesting general and historical information on the Indian Shot.
Available from: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/pljune98.htm [Accessed 23 June 2003]
Wunderlin & Hansen, 2003. Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. Institute for Systematic Botany.
Summary: Synonyms.
The following 3 contacts offer information an advice on Canna indica
Assistant Technique Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature Initiative Cara�bes
C/O Parc National de Guadeloupe Habitation Beausoleil, Mont�ran 97120 Saint-Claude, Guadeloupe
(+590) (0)590 80 86 00
(+590) (0)590 80 05 46
Dr. Hiltje
Dr. H. Maas works on a wide array of plant families.
Herbarium Division Department of Plant Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of Utrecht
P.O. Box 80102 3508 TC Utrecht The Netherlands
Geographic region: Pacific, Indian Ocean
Ecosystem: Terrestrial
Expert in the botany of French Polynesia and the Pacific Islands, and has worked on ecology and biological control of Miconia calvescens in French Polynesia.
D�l�gation � la Recherche
D�l�gation � la Recherche, Gouvernement de Polyn�sie fran�aise. B.P. 20981, 98713 Papeete, Tahiti, Polyn�sie fran�aise
689 47 25 60
Canna indica
gasau ni ga, balisier rouge, pia renga, African arrowroot, fagafaga, bakare kare, gwangwa, bakalele, Queensland arrowroot, achira, nuaenga, gwangwaama, toolima, apeellap, luiuenwai, fagamanu, English shot, chupa flor, riti, mongos halum-tano, oruuru, calenda, te misimisi, canna lily, canna, poloke, Fanamanu, fa'i masoa, pia-raroto'a, tous-les-mois, Indian shot, Balisier comestible, poloka, ali'ipoe, li'ipoe, tiare papa'a
Date assessed
Year published
Eicat category
Justification for EICAT assessment
Confidence rating
Mechanism(s) of maximum impact
Countries of most severe impact
Description of impacts
Recommended citation
(2024). Canna indica. IUCN Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT).