March 22, 2019

American Import

Canna in Hawley Beach, Tasmania

Alison Wherrett Photo | Canna in Hawley Beach, Tasmania

Find a canna anywhere in the world and you will be looking at a New World import. The plant was unknown in the rest of the world until explorers discovered the Americas. Cannas, which aren’t lilies, by the way, can be found all over the world today, including even north of the Arctic Circle because all it requires to thrive is 6 to 8 hours of daylight — which the Arctic can boast in spades — and protection from cold, since it is a tropical plant. Just dig up the rhizome and you’ve got that covered. It is that same rhizome that is full of starch, making canna an agricultural attraction because it is one of the world’s richest sources of starch. Photographer Alison Wherrett took this picture in Hawley Beach, Tasmania.