Canna. Canna Starch.
History. — Canna Starch, called by the French "Tous les Mois," is the fecula of an undetermined species of Canna. Some suppose it to be obtained from the root or rhizome of the Canna Coccinea, and others of the Canna Edulis. Both suppositions, however, are very uncertain.
Canna Starch comes from the West India island, St. Kitts. Be its origin what it may, it is an excellent arrowroot. It is in the form of a light, beautifully white powder, with a satiny appearance, very unlike the ordinary forms of fecula ; it looks more like potato-starch than any other variety of fecula, and its granules are larger, being from the 300th to the 200th of an inch in length. Under the microscope these granules are oval or oblong, usually more or less ovate, with numerous, regular, closely set, and unequally distant concentric rings, and a circular hilum, usually at the smaller extremity, and occasionally double, from which proceed the cracks observable in some of the larger grains. This starch has the ordinary chemical properties of common starch, and forms, when prepared with boiling water, a stiff jelly.
Properties and Uses. — Canna starch forms a nutritious and wholesome food for infants and invalids. It may be prepared in the same manner as arrowroot, and may be used in the same cases. By many it is preferred to any other kind of arrowroot.