Monarch butterfly

About Canna Lilies

Despite the name, canna lilies are flowers more closely related to birds of paradise, ginger and bananas than true lilies. These subtropical perennials feature tall stems of flowers that can be found in various shades of red, orange, yellow or pink. Their large leaves can also be found in a variety of shades, from dark green to maroon.

Cannas begin to bloom in the late spring or early summer and, unlike other flowers which will wither in the heat of late July or early August, canna will continue to flower until the first frost. Their tall, brightly colored flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds.

Traditionally, canna was grown as an agricultural staple, known for its starchy rhizomes — essentially a horizontal stem that grows underground. Edible canna was an important part of the ancient Peruvian diet, and it is still popular in places like Vietnam, where it is used to make cellophane noodles. However, a majority of canna found today are grown for decorative purposes.

Canna Lily at the Akron Zoo

The zoo's canna collection can be found in the Lehner Family Zoo Gardens, as well as seasonal annual displays throughout the park. Our selection changes seasonally, but usually includes scarlet canna, canna Tropicanna®, banana canna, black knight canna and more.