This native of the Caribbean and tropical Americas has attractive, bright scarlet flowers on stout stems above broad, handsome leaves. The seeds are small, globular, black pellets, hard and heavy enough to sink in water, and which resemble shotgun pellets giving rise to the plant's common name of Indian Shot. They are reputedly hard enough to shoot through wood and still survive and later germinate and according to the BBC, during the Indian Mutiny of the 19th century soldiers used these seeds when they ran out of bullets. Although not carrying the largest flowers of this group, this one is probably the hardiest and able to get through the average English winter.
These seeds should be lightly nicked and should be sown into a well-drained, sandy compost at any time of the year, and covered thinly with sand or grit and kept moist. Keep at between 20-25 degrees C. Seeds sometimes germinate within 4 to 6 weeks although some varieties may take very much longer so please be patient. Plant out in the open ground in the tropics or warmer countries or in a large container elsewhere. Minimum 15C.
Common name:Saka siri, Indian shot, canna, achira, bandera, chancle, coyol, or platanillo,
Classification:Greenhouse perennial, Half hardy perennial
Packet Content:10 large seeds (Approx)