Name: Queensland Arrowroot, Achira, Edible canna
Origin: South America
This is the ancestor of the colourful garden canna lily. Qld arrowroot has simple red flowers but produces edible tuberous roots.
It is quite ornamental with its tall, architectural leaves and stems and makes a good windbreak for other vegetables.
When to sow: Plant dormant tubers in winter, but can be divided any time as long as they are not allowed to dry out.
Plant Type: Tall herbaceous plant.
Uses: Cook like potatoes, usually roasted until soft. Can be steamed, mashed or microwaved. Peel before cooking.
Growing Conditions: The are not fussy about soil but should be grown in light soil with good organic matter. Keep well watered throughout the growing period. In Victoria or other cold climates the plants will die down in winter after frosts.
The prefer afternoon shade in summer but will cope in full sun as long as they are watered.
The tubers are roundish and small compared to the whole plant.
Harvesting and storage: I prefer to harvest them just before flowering for the tenderest tubers but they can be dug up any time. Store in dampish paper in the fridge crisper, or in dampish sawdust in a cool spot.
After harvest keep one or more tubers to regrow. Just replant them where you want them to grow, they will be happy in the ground over winter.
Pests and Diseases: I have not noticed any pest or disease affecting mine.
Special Qualities: Tough
Tuber: You will receive one tuber. make sure you place it in a pot of potting mix and don't let it dry out until spring, or plant it immediately where you want it to grow.