Just a casual search in wikipedia got me the following interesting uses of this plant:
- The seeds are used as beads in jewelry.
- The seeds are used as the mobile elements of the kayamb, a musical instrument from Réunion, as well as the hosho, a gourd rattle from Zimbabwe, where the seeds are known as "hota" seeds.
- In more remote regions of India, cannas are fermented to produce alcohol.
- The plant yields a fibre - from the stem - it is used as a jute substitute.
- A fibre obtained from the leaves is used for making paper. The leaves are harvested in late summer after the plant has flowered, they are scraped to remove the outer skin and are then soaked in water for 2 hours prior to cooking. The fibres are cooked for 24 hours with lye and then beaten in a blender. They make a light tan brown paper.
- A purple dye is obtained from the seed.
- Smoke from the burning leaves is said to be insecticidal.
- Cannas are used to extract many undesirable pollutants in a wetland environment as they have a high tolerance to contaminants.
- In Thailand, Cannas are a traditional gift for Father's Day.
- In Vietnam, canna is called dong riềng and its starch is used to make cellophane noodles known as miến dong.
I found this weird spiky green fruit near my house. The fruit was split revealing the red seeds whose color is probably nature’s device to attract birds who are the primary agents of seed dispersal. I have no idea what this fruit is called. I don’t think it is edible. I found it quite apt for a Ruby Tuesday post.