Herbs perennial. Stems erect, robust. Rhizomes tuberous. Leaves alternate, spirally arranged, large, veins pinnate and parallel, base sheathing. Inflorescence a terminal raceme or panicle of showy, 1- or 2-flowered cincinni. Flowers bisexual, asymmetric, mostly large. Sepals 3, green, free, persistent. Corolla lobes 3, green or colored, basally connate into a tube and adnate to staminodes. Staminodes and stamen in 2 whorls: outer whorl with (2 or)3 conspicuous, petaloid staminodes, usually red or yellow; inner whorl with a reflexed staminode (labellum), narrower than outer staminodes, and a fertile stamen; filament petaloid; anther 1-loculed, adnate to apical margin of filament. Ovary inferior, 3-loculed; ovules numerous per locule; placentation axile. Style petaloid. Fruit a capsule, 3-valved, usually warty. Seeds many, globose; endosperm copious; embryo straight.
One genus and ten to twenty species: tropical and subtropical America; one species (introduced) in China.
Wu Te-lin & Chen Sen-jen. 1981. Cannaceae. In: Wu Te-lin, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 16(2): 152--158.