En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - July 21, 2013

From: Windsor, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Seeds and Seeding, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Red pods on Canna Lilies from Windsor VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What are the dark red pods on my canna lilies?

ANSWER:

Does what you have on your canna look anything like these pictures? In that case, they are seed pods. From e-How here is an article on Growing and Caring for Cannas. The canna is considered a tropical plant and has been heavily hybridized. but there are four plants with "canna" in their common names native to North America. Of those, only Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp) is listed as native to Virginia and it is not a member of the Cannaceae family, but of the Aponcynaceae (Dogbane) family. Canna flaccida (Bandanna of the everglades) and Canna glauca (Water canna) are true cannas and Thalia dealbata (Powdery alligator-flag), also known as Water Canna, is a member of the Marantaceae (Arrowroot) family. You can see why common names sometimes cause us confusion. You may have none of these but a non-native import instead, we just don't know. But we are pretty sure that whatever you are seeing on your canna is a seed pod.

 

From the Image Gallery


Indian hemp
Apocynum cannabinum

Bandanna of the everglades
Canna flaccida

Water canna
Canna glauca

Powdery alligator-flag
Thalia dealbata

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Propagation of Simsia calva from Albuquerque NM
January 27, 2014 - Hi - I was given some simsia calva seed from the LBJ wildflower center. It doesn't have a lot of info about starting the seeds, so any help is much appreciated! I tried starting some outdoors last ye...
view the full question and answer

Source for seed of Blackfoot Daisy from Amarillo TX
October 29, 2011 - I need help finding Melampodium leucanthum seed. I have spent the last few hours on the web searching for them. I checked the resources in your lists and cannot find seed. I live in Potter Coun...
view the full question and answer

Allelopathc qualities in sunflowers
June 19, 2007 - I have a sunflower patch in the corner of my backyard (Maximilians, common sunflower, and silverleaf sunflower)and would like to use the spent stalks (sans the seedheads) as mulch in the fall. Howeve...
view the full question and answer

Failure of flameleaf sumacs to produce fruit
January 09, 2013 - Our two flame leaf sumacs produce none to little fruit. Both are about 4 years old, quite large, healthy looking; flowering this year was very good, but no fruit. What keeps them from producing fruit?
view the full question and answer

Need tips for planting wildflower seeds in pots in Edinburg, TX.
July 22, 2012 - Can you give me some tips for starting wildflower seeds in pots or trays, rather than outdoors? Is this even possible? Most instructions I have found are for seeding large areas. I want to get some p...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center