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ALIEN INVASIVE PLANT AWARENESS CAMPAIGN – Municipal Plant of the Month -Canna: Canna indica (Indian Shot)

Issued by George Municipality, 15 June 2023

Alien invasive plants destroy biodiversity. Biodiversity is the link between all organisms on earth, binding all into interdependent ecosystems.  

Municipal Plant of the Month –Canna: Canna indica (Indian Shot).  Listed as a Category 1b invader and habitat transformer.  It must be removed and destroyed.  Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited.  Hybrid cultivars are excluded from the category.

In the Garden Route C.indica is a common sight. Wherever garden refuse that includes canna stems and rhizomes is casually tipped ‘over the side’ onto vacant land we see these plants establishing themselves with the greatest of ease.

Identification: The plants are perennial with erect, un-branched, leafy shoots 1 – 2 met. tall. The leaves are large, narrowly ovate to elliptic and sheath the stems. Foliage range in colour from green to purple-bronze. The flowers are attractive and colourful but non-fragrant and quite small in comparison to those of the large showy hybrids. C.indica’s flowers are usually red or orange above and yellow below. Flowering time is generally from September to April and in some regions throughout the year. The fruits are green, spiny, three-valved capsules. It multiplies readily from rhizomes and forms large clumps, invading stream banks, moist sites, forests, and plantation edges.

Control: No herbicide is currently registered and physical removal and destruction of the plant material is the most practical solution. Kaput, if applied to the cut stem at the rhizome level, will weaken the rhizome. Rhizomes need to be shredded, desiccated, or rotted before throwing onto the compost heap.

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