Answer: Based on your description it is a bit difficult to identify the plants, but might they be different varieties of canna lily? They are grown in full sun and are very striking, come in numerous colors and are available in both dwarf forms and in more statuesque heights to over 6 feet. Here is a picture of a somewhat ratty specimen of a rather plain-Jane variety, but it does show the leaves: http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/FLORA/fa08/fa08034.jpg to give an idea of the entire plant form. Canna lilies are grown from rhizomes and, while they are perennial in the south, they must be dug and stored each winter from about zone 7 north. They are usually available for sale in spring either barerooted or potted and pre-started.
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