Indian shot

Canna indica
Indian shot: Canna indica Indian shot: Canna indica

Common name:

Indian shot

Scientific name:

Canna indica (Cannaceae)

Alternative common names:

Garden canna; wild canna (English); tuinkanna;  Indiese kanna (Afrikaans); udumbedumbe (isiZulu)

A perennial shrub with erect, leafy shoots 1-2m high. Large green or purple-bronze leaves sheathing the stem. Narrow flowers are red or orange, usually yellow below and the plant produces green, spiny fruits

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Caribbean region and tropical America

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category 1 NEMBA – Category 1b

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Scattered localities in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces

    How does it spread?

    By seeds and underground rhizome

    Why is it a problem?

    Canna indica forms dense spreading clumps and competes with and replaces indigenous species

    What does it look like?

    General description: A perennial rhizomatous herb growing between 1-2m with large leaves. Bark: Indian shot is a robust perennial herb up to 1m tall that grows from a thick, branching, underground rhizome. Leaves: Large green, broad leaves, which taper to a point. Flowers: Red or orange, usually yellow below, narrow with long petals. Fruit/Seeds: Green, spiny, three-valved capsules

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Planted as an ornamental, the seeds are also used as beads in jewellery