- Culinary Herbs & Spices
- 10 Canna Lily seeds, African Arrowroot, Canna Indica
10 Canna Lily seeds, African Arrowroot, Canna Indica
10 large round brown seeds. Canna indica, commonly known as Indian shot, African arrowroot, edible Canna, purple arrowroot, Sierra Leone arrowroot, and Wild Canna Lily, is a plant species in the family Cannaceae. Canna is native to much of South America, Central America, the West Indies, Mexico, and the warmer southeastern United States (Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina). Native peoples, especially the Inca, grew it as a food. It is high in starch (24%) and contains 1% protein.
The starch is easily digestible and therefore well suited as food. The tubers can be eaten raw or cooked. The starch is also suitable for baking. In South America, the Canna leaves are used to wrap pastries (tamales, quimbolitos), similar to banana leaves or maize leaves. In some areas, the leaves are fed to livestock. The round seeds are pierced in some areas and used as pearls. They are also used as a filling for rattles.
The seeds were used by Native Americans as gold weights, similar to the seeds of Ceratonia siliqua (carob), as they have a very constant and consistent weight.