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[ Canna Lily (Canna 'Trinacria Variegata') | Posted on February 4, 2015 ]

This is a most distinctive canna, both in the foliage, which is variegated green with pale yellow running parallel to the veins, and the flowers, which are yellow with a "signature" cross across each bloom, made by a white stripe.

[ Canna (Canna x generalis 'Florence Vaughan') | Posted on January 26, 2015 ]

Canna 'Florence Vaughan' has been misnamed and misidentified as other cannas for many, many years.
It originated in 1891, Introduced by A. Crozy, Lyon, France, in 1891.
Where the misnaming began is lost to history.

From an early US gardening journal, Garden and Forest, it was described:
"This is the best yellow spotted Canna introduced up to this time; color, lemon yellow spotted with bright red. The size and form of the flower is by far the best that has been raised to date; it has been claimed for this variety that it was the best yellow in cultivation, but the scarlet markings on the petals detract from the brightness of the yellow. It is a strong, robust grower, with flowers of the largest size with large heads, blooms freely, and for florists' sale will be very, very satisfactory. Bronze Medal awarded for this at World's Fair, Chicago, 1893."

Of a more updated nature, this canna has been "rediscovered" in Botanical Gardens in Australia.

"The original Canna 'Florence Vaughan' has been traced to the Melbourne Botanical Gardens in Australia.
Congratulations are due to Mrs. Dale McDonnell in Australia for tracking down this elusive cultivar, dating back to 1892. Canna 'Florence Vaughan' was traced hiding in the confines of the Melbourne Botanical gardens where it had escaped the vagaries of fashion and nurserymen confusing identities. By bringing this original cultivar to the notice of the international Canna community she has allowed us to put one of the many Canna inconsistencies to rest, at last." Credits to Canna News, Monday, 23 April 2007.

Its name has been used for very similar cannas, such as 'En Evant', 'JB Van der Schoot,' and 'Coq d'Or' (along with the spotted version of 'Yellow King Humbert'), but also for cannas that look nothing like 'Florence Vaughan,' such as 'Britannia', 'Roma', 'Cattleya' (the most common misuse) and 'Italia,' which has a distinctive "cleft" or "hare-lip" on the lower edge of its lower labellum. There are also differences in foliage.

These four most misidentified cannas can have variable (unstable) colour variations during "hotter than normal" weather, but they are never spotted, as is the true 'Florence Vaughan.'

[ Canna 'Roma' | Posted on January 26, 2015 ]

Canna 'Roma' is one of the most misnamed and misidentified cannas of which I am aware.

It is often identified as 'Britannia', 'Italia', 'Yellow King Humbert,' and 'Florence Vaughan,' as well many others, all of which are totally different cannas.

Personally, I have trialed the 3 most "alike" -- Britannia, Roma, and Cattleya -- and have found distinctive differences in their blooms, rhizomes, and leaves.
The flower colour may vary on Roma to look like the others, but it has rarely done this in my garden.

The most distinctive difference is that 'Italia' has always a solid red lower labellum with a "notch" or hare-lip on the lower edge.

[ Stonecrop (Petrosedum rupestre subsp. rupestre 'Aztec Gold') | Posted on January 24, 2015 ]

This is a wonderful little Sedum! Easy to grow and great for children's gardening and "Fairy Gardens."

A delightful golden-lime/green, low, mounding, groundcover succulent that develops pink-tinged tips in early summer/spring and flowers in summer.
The flowers are tiny and yellow, but there's plenty of them on long bracts all over the plant, and they are fairly long lived for a great display of colour. They also attract bees, insects, and small honey-eating birds!

'Golden Glow' suits gardens as a rockery plant or as a "filler" or "crawler" to fill empty spaces under taller plants. It does wonderfully in pots, containers, and hanging baskets, either by itself or in a mixed basket, or in terrariums and miniature planters. When grown indoors in lower light, it will become leggy, with sparse growth, and will look rather unattractive.

It is easy to propagate via cuttings, and even small broken off sections will "take" easily. It is best NOT to allow it to dry out completely while it is becoming established, as the roots are fine and shallow, but once established, it will thrive on only rain water and neglect. Great for "brown thumbs"!

It will withstand both high and low temperatures (to -10 degrees c) and frosts, prefers full light and semi-shaded areas, will withstand dry periods, and tolerates well-draining moist conditions as well. Do NOT allow it to dry out completely, as the roots are fine and fairly shallow.

[ Lily (Lilium longiflorum var. longiflorum) | Posted on January 24, 2015 ]

Lilium longiflorum var. longiflorum, originating in Japan, is a beautiful and easy-care white lily to add to your garden. It is often referred to as the "Easter Lily."

It is a hermaphrodite and produces true from seed, although it takes a few years to reach flowering maturity.
Distribution is now worldwide, but it did become very scarce after the 1940s and valuable during WWII.

Easy to grow from root division from a larger clump, or from the bountiful seeds it produces after flowering.
The seeds will readily spread by wind, as they are very light. Some "high" country areas in Nth NSW, Australia (known as the New England because of its cold winters and its temperate springs and summers) have them growing along the highway where they have escaped from gardens and have naturalized over the last 120 years.
If you do not want excess lily plants coming up throughout your garden, it is advisable to remove the seed pods before ripening.

[ Canna 'Salmon Watsonia' | Posted on January 3, 2015 ]

Canna 'Salmon Watsonia' is an Australia-bred canna, developed by Mr. Bernard Yorke, Qld. Year unknown.

It has masses of pink/salmon blooms on burgundy/green stems and holds the flowers above the foliage. They are not overly large blooms, but make up for this with their masses of "frangipani-shaped" petals in their glorious colour, which are long lasting on the plants. Flowers will have hues of pale mandarin at times when viewed in strong sunlight, or as the blooms age. Flowers may also have darker markings in the same tones.

This canna flower shape is very like those in Mr. Yorke's 'Moulin' range.

Foliage emerges as deep burgundy and matures to deeper olive green with burgundy ribbing and overtones. It will remain darker longer when growing in areas with less intense sunlight. The stems also follow this change.

It is quite lovely to see a clump of this canna with its various coloured growth, at its different stages, with the flowers above it!

Growth and establishment are fast and the plant will readily reach heights of 5ft, with flower stems above that, up to another 2ft. It clumps loosely and tillers at times away from the parent clump with long rhizomes.

It produces good quantities of seed and appears to be fertile both ways, and the seeds are therefore fertile, but all fertilized seeds hold the ability to produce plants differing from the parents, due to the pollination process. The only way to have this canna exactly as the parent is by rhizome division.

[ Canna (Canna x generalis 'Nadine') | Posted on December 30, 2014 ]

C. 'Nadine': Bred by Teven Garden, Australia.

A "chance seedling" found under a potting bench (what a "find"!) and named after the grower's daughter.

Grows to 1.8 metres, in tight clumps and not prone to "running," with green/blue, erect, wide-ish foliage with tips bending outwards at the ends as the leaves grow and age.
The stems have a distinctive red/burgundy stripe, which ages to burgundy/brown.
The flower heads have distinctive variegated colours of apricot, lemon yellow, and apricot.
Blooms open to gorgeous pastel colours of pale lemon yellow in the throat, with variegated colours of pinks, apricots, peach, lemon yellow, and some white throughout the blooms in a backgound of colours, streaks, and blotches.
Seeds are large, fertile, and easy to grow. It is a "chance seedling," so the parents are unknown.

Very few of this canna were ever available. Plants and seed are limited (so far) to Australia.

[ Aquatic Canna (Canna glauca) | Posted on December 29, 2014 ]

Poor old C. glauca, the ancestor of so many of today's cannas and once widely found in private gardens, and when the world moved slower and we didn't have advanced sewerage systems, being used for water absorption along areas of "overflow."

C. glauca helped give all cannas a bad name with gardeners for a very long time. Having a very "robust" tillering and growth habit, once it is in the garden it is extremely hard to remove totally. It can be controlled by planting it in rocky soil with restricted water supply, or contained in large tubs. Unless you have acres to spare or own a lake, it is better contained in some way.

The seeds are very fertile, and it is a great canna to start experimenting with for your own crosses. Plant C. glauca in pots and place them around your favourite cannas. Let the pollinators do the rest. You can end up with some interesting results to get you started fast.

Here's a link to info on C. glauca :

Glauca is still used today in "natural" filtration systems where people have set up "alternate" lifestyles or in large bog gardens, where channels are created and water runs through it and out the other side much cleaner than when it went in! There is actually a garden right in the middle of Sydney where the owners of the property are using this system with their water run-off, with the Council's blessings!

[ Canna 'Tropical Moonlight' | Posted on December 28, 2014 ]

C. 'Tropical Moonlight': a "true" dwarf canna.

One in a series of dwarf cannas developed originally by Takii & Co. in Japan, c.1907. They were endeavouring to develop smaller true dwarf cannas that had reasonable-sized flowers and produced fertile seed for the seed market.
Their successful work still continues today. Their latest release was earlier this year in 2014!

The other 3 of the 4 first developed around 1907 (later also to change names via Tesselaar?) were:

C. 'Tinkerbell,' which became 'Tropical Yellow'
C. 'Japanese Rose,' which became 'Tropical Rose'
C. 'Tropical Ruby,' which became 'Tropical Red'

.. and quite often you see 'Tropical Red' still ID'd as 'Tropical Ruby.' They are the same canna.

[ Canna Lily (Canna x generalis 'En Avant') | Posted on December 28, 2014 ]

C. 'En Avant': often mislabeled or misnamed as C. 'Cancer' and sometimes as C. 'J.B. van der Schott ' or even C. 'Coq d'Or.' It does have another synonym of C. 'La Garoupe'.

It was introduced by Messrs Vilmorin-Andrieux in 1921.

'En Avant' is a medium height canna, with green foliage that has a distinctive white edge on the leaves, which does not tiller prolifically, but does get a bit "messy" in its growth, often having its flower stems bend towards the ground just when the flower heads are at their best! The spent flowers also tend to "hang on" for ages, so it does need a bit of help cleaning up after flowering.

It produces fertile, easy-to-grow seeds and is one of very few cannas to produce true-to-type flowers from seed, although nothing grown from seed is EXACTLY genetically the same as the parents.

[ Canna (Canna x generalis 'Una') | Posted on December 27, 2014 ]

C. 'Una': Beautiful and "eye-poppingly" hot pink .. and SO little about her history to be found!

C. 'Una' is a medium height canna with green upright foliage. The leaves do have thin white margins. Otherwise, it is much like many cannas with green foliage ... but those flowers!
Clumps will spread to less than 3ft over 3yrs, so it does not "run" too quickly. It easily propagates from division and flowers appear from the first leaf rolls to grow. No waiting with this girl!

She has fertile seeds and LOTS of them in each pod. I've had 16 in 1 pod, and they grow easily.

C. 'Una' is the seed parent to C. 'Annjee' (pollen parent unknown) and is the seed grandparent to cannas such as C. 'Polonaise', C. 'Prelude,' and others, no doubt.

[ Canna Lily (Canna x generalis 'Wyoming') | Posted on December 27, 2014 ]

C. 'Wyoming': Ah, a Canna of some mystery. Are we surprised!?

The originator was probably Leon Wintzer, who developed and named many earlier cannas with large blooms for other U.S. states.
The earliest mention of C. 'Wyoming' is in the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society in November 1908, in trials at Wisley Gardens.

Then, after 1910, Luther Burbank introduced the Italian Group cultivar we all love nowadays, and gave it the same name.

So, were they working with the same or similar crosses, giving 2 separate cultivars the same name?

'Wyoming' also has these synonyms: C. 'Biarritz', C. 'G.V. King', C. 'Glow of Love', C. 'Liberté', C. 'Professor Lorentz', C. 'Professor Lorenz', C. 'Stellar Blut'

DID YOU KNOW? .. that C. 'Bengal Tiger' is thought to be a 'sport' from C. 'Wyoming'? How about that!

I DO know that mine grows exceedingly tall when conditions are at a premium, to over 8ft from the ground to the tips of the flower heads, and the leaves have been as wide as 12" plus on many occasions.
The blooms will often re-appear 3-4 times along the length of the same flower stem if I do not deadhead them after the first flush.

They have never produced "solid" seed .. only "air pods," but I have heard that some C. 'Wyoming' plants do produce "solid" seed at times. Could this be a "hint" that there are two different hybrids?

[ Canna (Canna x generalis 'Asia') | Posted on December 27, 2014 ]

C. 'Asia' was released in 1895 by Carl Sprenger of Dammon & Co., in Naples, Italy.

Incorrect synonyms: R. Wallace, Richard Wallace, Lemon Gem (which is a dwarf) & others.

Often mistaken/misnamed for either C. 'Austria' (also Carl Sprenger of Dammon & Co., in Naples, Italy) or C. 'Burbank' (Burbank, USA)

C. 'Asia' has blooms with a defined "cleft" in the lower "lip" (see my photo) and many of the blooms face upward rather than outwards. The foliage colour is more light green than bright green, and it clumps loosely as tillering is longer. The leaf habit is broader and droops outward roughly from the middle of each leaf, rather than growing directly upward and more erect.

The yellow blooms of C. 'Asia' do not "bleach out" as easily as C. 'Burbank' or C. 'Austria,' and I find them a "richer" yellow then either 'Austria' or 'Burbank.'

[ Canna (Canna x generalis 'Cleopatre') | Posted on December 27, 2014 ]

No, I am not muddled .. this is C. 'Cleopatre,' not to be confused with C. 'Cleopatra', the "retail" name of C. 'Yellow King Humbert.'

The first reference found for this canna is in Searle’s catalogue of 1927, although it was introduced by A. Crozy, Lyon, France in 1895.

Both a friend (a hybridizer and horticulturalist) and I have grown C. 'Cleopatre' along side C. 'Crepe L'Orange' (from different sources) and found no differences, nor any "official" references to a canna by the name of 'Crepe L'Orange'.

C. 'Cleopatre' is rather small but not a dwarf. It has green foliage, fertile pollen but sterile seeds, thick rhizomes, and a spreading habit.

[ Canna Lily (Canna x generalis 'Constitution') | Posted on December 26, 2014 ]

Canna 'Constitution' is another to have its ancestory in "water cannas."

It was introduced by R.J. Armstrong, of Longwood Gardens, USA, who are well known for developing many "water cannas." Year of introduction ... unknown

C. 'Constitution' can be slow to grow and may even miss a season of flowering, but when it does, it's gorgeous! The rather thin flower stems are full of blooms and often bend (annoyingly!) groundwards with the weight of the blooms.
The leaves emerge a deep bronzey/burgundy green, maturing to a coppery green and are lance-like but not extremely narrow.

Although its history is related to the water cannas, it does have a tendency for the rhizomes to rot when too wet. It well suits garden conditions, just as other garden cannas.
The fertility is unknown, but it does produce seeds, which I have not yet tried, so propagation is best by division.

[ Canna Lily (Canna x generalis 'Cattleya') | Posted on December 26, 2014 ]

This canna is known as: C. ‘Alemannia’ as well as C. ‘Cattleya.’

Its ancestry is related to water cannas and therefore it has a habit of tillering prolifically. I can vouch for that!
The clumps are therefore "loose," but allow easy division for control and propagation as this canna does not produce seeds.

It was introduced by C. Sprenger, Dammann & Co., Naples, Italy in 1897, now classing it as a "heritage canna." Upon its release in 1897, it received an Award of Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society and later was featured prominently in the 1908 RHS outdoor trials at Wisley, England.

My specimens grow to over 6ft with the flower heads above the leaves.
It is one of the cannas confused at times with either C. 'Roma' or C. 'Italia' or C. 'Britannia'.

[ Canna Lily (Canna x generalis 'Camille Bernardin') | Posted on December 26, 2014 ]

This is a magnificient Australian bred canna!
Canna 'Camille Bernardin' is one of the older Australian varieties and is now more difficult to obtain. Year and hybridizer??
The blooms are of a style that opens out quite wide. They are a most gorgeous orange with deep apricot toning. Very "showy" flowers!
The leaves are green with a blue patina, are quite wide, and make a grand garden statement.
It is quite a prolific canna and grows to around 6ft (1.9m) tall.

[ Canna 'Annjee' | Posted on December 26, 2014 ]

Canna 'Anjee' ... what can you say about this "eye-popping" dwarf canna?!

Introduced around 2006, from seed parent C. 'Una' x an unknown pollen parent, this little canna has become the "grandparent" to such cannas as:
C. 'Prelude' (C. Anjee x C. Cardinal) and C. 'Polonaise' (also C. Anjee x C. Cardinal), amongst others, both hybridized by Bernard Yorke of Brisbane, Aust.

C. 'Anjee' grows to approx. 68-70cm, is rather slow to tiller, and clumps closely. It also suits roomy pots (as cannas need room for support roots as well as the rhizomes for best pot results) and spots in rockeries, as it does not run readily.

[ Canna Tropicanna® | Posted on December 26, 2014 ]

As we all know, C. 'Tropicanna' is a registered commercial name.

Its origins are in Africa and it was originally known as C. 'Phasion'.
Other names it is known by are: C. Andaloucia, C. Durban (Europe), C. Franciscus, C. Gold Ader, C. Inferno, C. Tiger Stripe, and C. Tropicana.

Serious canna collectors refer to this canna by its original name of 'Phasion.' They are not different cannas, but the same. They do not produce any viable seeds, being infertile, and the ONLY way to grow this canna is by rhizome divisions.

[ Canna (Canna x generalis 'Britannia') | Posted on December 26, 2014 ]

C. 'Britannia' is often mislabeled as C. 'Roma' or C. 'Italia,' but although similar, they ARE different.

'Italia': Introduced by C. Sprenger, Dammann & Co., Naples, Italy, in 1894.
'Roma': Info shows earliest reference to this specimen is Revue Horticole in 1895. Has also been called C. Florence Vaughn, C. Golden Eagle, C. Heinrich Seidel, C. Jennifer, C. Orange King Humbert, C. Papillon, C. Tropicluster.
'Britannia': also introduced by K. Sprenger, Dammann & Co., Naples, Italy, date unknown.

If you need more info, drop me a note and I'll list foliage variations, tillering, and clumping habits, all of which are different.

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