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Queensland Arrowroot Canna Indica Lily Seeds
Packet of 15+ seeds from this multipurpose crop.
Known by a heap of different names, here are just a few. Edible canna, Queensland arrow, Canna edulis, Bermuda arrowroot, achira, achera, araruta, chokwo, maranta starch, dong riengganyong, sakhu chin, zembu, maraca, Canna coccinea, Canna compacta, Canna discolor, Canna patens, Canna speciosa, Canna indica var. indica, Canna indica var. flava, Canna lutea, Canna indica var. maculata, Canna indica var. sanctae rosea along with several others.
The leaves are a great mulch, and they also make a very productive supplementary fodder crop. ~10% protein from memory, but very fibrous.
Our guinea pigs like them, the chooks have a bit of a peck at them, and apparently they can be fed to goats, donkeys, cows and pigs.
I harvest the roots and extract the starch and throw big bunches of leaves in with the critters, whatever doesn’t get eaten by them gets used as nesting material, and in a month or so I mix it all up with the other bedding and use it on the garden. Great stuff!
You can dig them anytime you want, but the best time for using the roots and tubers as a vegetable is about 6-9months from germination. Just peel them, slice thinly and fry them up like a spud or sweet potato. Not bad at all.
No gluten too, which is very important to some folks.
The larger more fibrous roots are still really useful, especially handy if you are a bit of a Prepper. Just wack the roots through a hand mincer, food processor or blitz them with a wizz stick adding as much water as is practical. Leave the sludge to settle, pour off the floaties and the slightly bitter brown coloured water, leaving the starch behind.
Fill with water again, give it a quick stir, then leave it to settle again, then pour off the water. Eventually the water is clear and the bottom of the bucket is just pure white starch.
Pour it into a stainless steel, Pyrex or glass dish, evaporate the last bit of water, dry it really well, then scrape and rub it through a strainer. Can be stored in jars for years and even today there is a huge industry doing pretty much the same thing, just on a much larger scale.
Same sort of stuff as corn starch and wheaten starch, the main ingredient in everything that thickens. Custard powder, gravy mix, dehydrated mashed potatoes, all those ready made meal in a jar, maccarooni and cheese, alfredo, carbonara pasta sauces, curry mix where you “just add X and Y” then simmer 10-15mins. Everything uses it, as it adds mouth feel and texture to anything watery for bugger all cost to the manufacturer, and it helps combine, dissolve and hide fats and oils, stopping them splitting and floating to the top.
Everything tastes better, feels heartier, fills you up more, with a little starch added.
Even the humble Aussie “Arrowroot biscuit” has a little Canna in it, and back in the days before the massive industrialisation of cereals, it was the main ingredient.
You can use it on its own too, tortillas, pancakes, “rice” or glass noodles, vermicelli, wonton wrappers, fermentation for ethanol production, pretty much anything really?
Easy to grow, easiest way is just rub one side of the seed on a file, or just on the concrete like I do until it gets a bit roughed up in one spot.
Just want to remove a millimeter of that hard shell and let the water it. Soak it in water overnight then plant 2cm deep in nice moist soil. Should be up in a couple weeks in warm weather.
You can plant them as is, and they will definitely still grow unscarified, but the seed coat is super hard, like a ball bearing, and it could take months to sprout.
Grown by me and the Mrs organically, no chems, no nasties, no problems!!!