The Q&A Archives: Cana - Purple Leafed Plant (tropical Looking)

Question: My neighbor has a plant in her garden that she thinks is called Cana. It has leaves about 12" long that point straight up. They are a deep green in the middle and blend into an eggplant purple at the edges. It's tropical looking and came back from last year. It may have been there all winter but her garden was so overgrown I may not have seen it. Can you tell me some plants that are similar to this if this name is not familiar.

Answer: There are plants called Canna and this could certainly be one variety of it. It is borderline hardy in your area, but we had a mild winter and so it could well have survived. These plants grow from a rhizome that can be lifted in the fall after frost has killed back the tops. It can be stored dormant over the winter and replanted in the spring once the soil has warmed up again.

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