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The Exotic Rainforest
Plants in the Exotic Rainforest Collection
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Canna indica L. "musafolia"
The Banana Leaf Canna
 Janice and I love to visit tropical gardens.  On occasion we will be offered a start of a plant and we always accept.  This one was a gift.  Problem was the grower did not have the plant identifiied.  And we had never seen one.  The plant we brought home was quite small, perhaps only 3 or 4 inches tall.  So we had to wait almost 2 years for it to grow large enough to attempt an ID. 
After we moved to Northwest Arkansas the plant began to grow and sprout offspring.  And within a few months it was 8 feet tall and had a brilliant red inflorescence (flower).  I dug through all the plant books and could not find an identification.  It looked like a ginger, so I assumed it was a ginger.  Wrong.  I didn't even consider a canna.  So this photo of the "flower" began to be circulated on the Internet and finally botanist friend Tom White of Zone Ten Nursery in Homestead, FL  made the identification: Canna musafolia.   But later we learned the plant is a hybridized form and the actual name is Canna indica "musafolia"  We have since learned the plant is known as the Banana Leaf Canna since it's leaves strongly resemble those of it's larger cousin. 
The entire plant goes dormant each winter and totally disappears for a few months.  In our Exotic Rainforest the plant reaches at least 8 feet but we have read of plants that are much taller.  Research data suggests it can possibly grow as large as 12 feet.  Regardless, it produces a wonderful small red inflorescence.  And it loves the sun.