return to: checklist; family Cannaceae; keys
Robust monocot herb; leaves alternate, simple, petiolate, ovate to elliptic, base cuneate to obtuse, margin entire, apex abruptly acuminate'; inflorescence terminal, several flowered; flowers bright red, of irregular symmetry; fruits capsular, fruit surface minutely muricate..
According to Flora of North America, the round black seeds seeds have been used as rosary beads and placed in hollow gourds to form rattles. The starchy rhizomes yield a form of edible arrowroot (as implied by the synonym "C. edulis". Both rhizomes and leaves have been employed medicinally.