Photo of a bright orange and yellow canna lily flower in bloom at the St. Augustine Lighthouse. I made this photo over the 2014 4th of July holiday weekend trip out to Palm Coast, Florida.
Canna (or canna lily, although not a true lily) is a genus of 19 species of flowering plants. The closest living relations to cannas are the other plant families of the order Zingiberales, that is the Zingiberaceae (gingers), Musaceae (bananas), Marantaceae, Heliconiaceae, Strelitziaceae, etc.
Canna is the only genus in the family Cannaceae. The APG II system of 2003 also recognizes the family, and assigns it to the order Zingiberales in the clade commelinids, in the monocots.
The species have large, attractive foliage, and horticulturists have turned it into a large-flowered and bright garden plant. In addition, it is one of the world’s richest starch sources, and is an agricultural plant.
Although a plant of the tropics, most cultivars have been developed in temperate climates and are easy to grow in most countries of the world as long as they receive at least 6–8 hours average sunlight during the summer, and are moved to a warm location for the winter. See the Canna cultivar gallery for photographs of Canna cultivars.
The name Canna originates from the Latin word for a cane or reed.