Achira (Canna discolor), pronounced ah-CHEER-uh, is a close relative of the common garden canna (Canna indica) varieties that are grown for their flowers. It is the only domesticated edible species in the family Cannaceae, although there are other edible species.  Achira is an impressive ornamental, growing as tall as eight feet, with large, tropical looking leaves and showy flowers (although not as showy as the flowers of ornamental cannas, which are considerably larger). It also happens to produce large, edible rhizomes that can reach nearly three feet (91 cm) in length. The harvest of a single plant can be as high as sixty pounds (27 kg) (NRC 1989), although I haven’t seen a yield even reaching a sixth of that in the Pacific Northwest.

Canna edulis


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