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BOTANICAL NAME: Canna edulis
COMMON NAMES: achira; achera; dong rieng; edible canna; ganyong; sakhu chin; zembu; maraca; Queensland arrowroot
FAMILY: Cannaceae
ORIGIN: American tropics

A very hardy, clump-forming perennial plant with thick stalks and large bright green leaves 300-600mm long to 2m high.

It requires a warm sunny position; growth is much slower in cold areas. It is suitable for temperate, subtropical and tropical areas.

Food: The tubers are best harvested to eat when still small, about the size of a tennis ball and the skin is still white. They can be used all year round, as a potato substitute. Peel the tubers and cut them into chips, then bake in the oven until golden brown, the flavour is improved by a sprinkle of garlic salt. Cut into cubes they can be added to soups, or steamed like potatoes, until tender. Young tubers have the best flavour, older ones are fibrous. To make arrowroot flour peel the tubers and cut into 2-4 cm cubes and blend with water to a pulp, or mince finely. Tip pulp into a large bowl and add water. The flour will quickly settle to the bottom and the brown fibrous pulp can be drained off the top. Continue to rinse until the water runs clear. Drain off the water and pour the white flour into trays, 1-2 cm thick. Dry in the sun until soft and powdery. The flour keeps well and can be used as a thickener. To thicken to a light syrup use 2 level teaspoons of arrowroot to each cup of water, heat, stirring until thick. The tuber has a high potassium content and 1-3% protein; the young leaves and shoots are nutritious and contain 10% protein.
Animal forage: Leaves can be fed to goats, cows and donkeys; tubers can be cooked and fed to pigs.
Mulch plant: Arrowroot provides an excellent on-going source of mulch, or can be used as a weed barrier and low garden windbreak.

Recommended Planting Time: All year.
Planting Depth: Cover tubers with soil.
Sowing Rate: Space tubers 30 cm apart, divide after several months if more plants are required.

More info on growing West Indian arrowroot...

SORRY but due to quarantine restrictions between Australian States no plants at all can be ordered by residents of Norfolk Island, Tasmania and Western Australia. These restrictions are very important as they prevent the spread of plant pests and diseases. No potatoes, garlic, shallots, strawberries or tubestock can be sent to South Australia. No tubestock can be sent to Northern Territory.
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