Floral Friday: Cannas

Canna (

Cannas are very popular in New Zealand as they are very easy to grow and need little maintenance.

Canna (or canna lily, although not a true lily) is a genus of 19 species of flowering plants.[2][3][4] The closest living relations to cannas are the other plant families of the order Zingiberales, that is the Zingiberaceae (gingers), Musaceae (bananas), Marantaceae, Heliconiaceae,Strelitziaceae, etc.[5]

Canna is the only genus in the family Cannaceae. The APG II system of 2003 also recognizes the family, and assigns it to the orderZingiberales in the clade commelinids, in the monocots.

The species have large, attractive foliage, and horticulturists have turned it into a large-flowered and bright garden plant. In addition, it is one of the world’s richest starch sources, and is an agricultural plant.[5]

Although a plant of the tropics, most cultivars have been developed in temperate climates and are easy to grow in most countries of the world as long as they receive at least 6–8 hours average sunlight during the summer, and are moved to a warm location for the winter. See the Canna cultivar gallery for photographs of Canna cultivars.

The name Canna originates from the Latin word for a cane or reed.[6]

As I am researching about the flowers I am finding out how floral plants are not just decorative, but useful as well.


Detail of the seed pods and seeds: The seeds are used for jewelry and musical instruments.

  • Some species and many cultivars are widely grown in the garden in temperate and subtropical regions. Sometimes, they are also grown as potted plants. A large number of ornamental cultivars have been developed. They can be used in herbaceous borders, tropical plantings, and as a patio or decking plant.
  • Internationally, cannas are one of the most popular garden plants and a large horticultural industry depends on the plant.
  • The rhizomes of cannas are rich in starch, and it has many uses in agriculture. All of the plant has commercial value, rhizomes for starch (consumption by humans and livestock), stems and foliage for animal fodder, young shoots as a vegetable, and young seeds as an addition to tortillas.
  • The seeds are used as beads in jewelry.[14]
  • The seeds are used as the mobile elements of the kayamb, a musical instrument from Réunion, as well as the hosho, a gourd rattlefrom Zimbabwe, where the seeds are known as hota seeds.
  • In more remote regions of India, cannas are fermented to produce alcohol.[15]
  • The plant yields a fibre from the stem, which is used as a jute substitute.[16]
  • A fibre obtained from the leaves is used for making paper. The leaves are harvested in late summer after the plant has flowered, they are scraped to remove the outer skin, and are then soaked in water for two hours prior to cooking. The fibres are cooked for 24 hours with lye and then beaten in a blender. They make a light tan brown paper.[16]
  • A purple dye is obtained from the seed.[16]
  • Smoke from the burning leaves is said to be insecticidal.[16]
  • Cannas are used to extract many undesirable pollutants in a wetland environment as they have a high tolerance tocontaminants.[17][18]
  • In Thailand, cannas are a traditional gift for Father’s Day.
  • In Vietnam, canna starch is used to make cellophane noodles known as miến dong.
  • Canna leaves (1 of 1)
  • The leaves are very colourful as well. I love how the colours really stand out in the sun.
  • FFF
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Cee’s Black and White Challenge:Telephones

Link to the past

Good morning from a sunny Good Friday in Hastings.

I have spoken before of experimenting with the grunge affect in the dark room, long before it became a preset filter for Photoshop.  This photo was part of an exhibition I had in Austria and Italy back in 1994 – 1995. The theme of the exhibition was Nostalgia.  I was with 3 others.  Tony went around taking photos of old buildings.  Gerhard was a doctor and took photos of his oldest patients while Maria took coloured photos of different festivals that was a tradition in Austria.  I was, obviously, the only foreigner and the only one to experiment so radically for my images.  My concept was because I was so far away from my home country that the phone was a connection to my past.  It was deliberately out of focus because looking back can be fuzzy – with memories not as clear anymore.  Well sort off.

I went through a lot of paper and chemicals to get this affect.  I experimented with different  papers before finally coming up with a heavy grainy paper from England.  The photo was taken deliberately out of focus and slightly over exposed when I printed it.  For the sepia affect I experimented with using different textured fabrics soaked in the sepia toning and laid it over the image to get the grunge affect.  I don’t know how many different types of fabric I used before I got this final image.  This was such a long winded process so that I am so glad that we had digital processing now.

This is for Cee at Cee’s Photography‘s challenge this week which calls for telephones – old, new, vintage, cell phones.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Telephones – new, cell, vintage, etc.


Telephone Boxes – soon a thing of the past


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