Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Canna Flower, an additional edible tuber for people

by http://charlesroring.blogspot.com



While I was walking around Sonder village, in Minahasa, the Province of North Sulawesi, I saw many kinds of flowers. One of them is Canna. Varieties of Canna have bright colours such as red, yellow, pink, and white. These flower plants are grown in the front yard of most of the villagers houses.


Because of these attractive colours, city dwellers who visit mountainous villages of Minahasa like to buy Canna flowers. Canna can be grown between 0 and 2,225 meters above sea level where the average rain is 1,120 mm per annum. The flowers bloom all year.


Actually, Canna is originally from tropical American continent but they are found in most tropical regions too.


I never see people eat tubers of Canna flower. I read a book entitled, "Hutan dan Kebun" on page 56 that young tuber of Canna is very good for babies and ill people. The starch can be digested easily.


In todays situation where the price of food is going up, Canna tuber may be considered as additional alternative staple food for people. Its leaves can also be given to livestock.


Tuber from Canna can be harvested when it has reached 6 - 10 months. The tuber may be eaten directly after boiling. If the starch is to be taken, it has to reach 15 - 18 months. For mass production purposes, a milling machine has to be used. In Kendal of Java island, Indonesia, Perhutani, a state owned timber company, grows Canna as insertion plants among the Jati trees. By doing this, the company has helped his employees (who are the local farmers) to get additional food resources from the forest without having to cut the trees.