Low grounds along Gulf coast plain. In Louisiana it is an escape from cultivation.
Canna indica has been a minor food crop cultivated by indigenous peoples of the Americas for thousands of years. According to the BBC "The story goes that during the Indian Mutiny of the 19th century, soldiers used the seeds of a Canna indica when they ran out of bullets." Rhizomes are large, up to 60 centimetres (24 in) in length, and edible eaten raw, but are usually baked. When cooked, the rhizomes become translucent, mucilaginous, and sweet. Starch is produced by grinding or pounding the roots and soaking them in water, separating the starch granules from fibers in the roots. The starch granules of C. indica are translucent and the largest known from any plant. The starch is occasionally marketed commercially as "arrowroot", a name also applied to the starch of other similar roots crops such as Maranta arundinacea. It was an ingredient in mid-nineteenth century recipes and was called tout-les-mois.