Thursday, January 15, 2009

Canna x generalis ,Cannas

Versatile plant Canna x generalis , above, showing dark leaf red flowering cultivar set against the pale leaves of the Giant Reed, Arundo donax 'Versicolor' with an edging of Hemerocallis Daylily
One plant which stands up to the current heatwave conditions and always looks good is the bulb/rhizome/perennial Canna. They have been used in public parks and municipal areas as summer bedding plants for over a century. One such planting which always looked good was in the median strip of a road near Bondi Beach in Sydney, though I don't think it is there anymore. Cannas are quite tolerant of salt laden coastal wind, though their leaves can become a bit shredded during a southerly buster. In recent years they have regained popularity as a hardy garden plant especially with the introduction of the many dwarf cultivars which are suitable for growing in pots and containers. The first Cannas are in flower in late spring while the Sweet Peas are still out as per photos below. Also of interest are the so called water Cannas ,Canna glauca, which as the name suggests are able to grow in shallow water though are adaptable and hardy under general garden conditions as well/ The foliage of Canna glauca is a lovely blue grey and the leaves are pointed.
Canna foliage can be quite striking as well ,with a colour range of smokey purple as in Canna 'Constitution' to gold striped as in 'Striatus' or 'Bengal Tiger' and near black as in 'Purpurea' or 'Wyoming' and the multi coloured 'Tropicana' or 'Durban' Unfortunately confusion remains over cultivar names with the same plant being given a different name depending on where you get it and in which country. 

Pale pink flowers of Canna 'Constitution'

Un-named bright Canary Yellow Canna

The hard pink of Canna 'Una"

Canna "Tropicana Gold' in a planting with ground covers Plectranthus 'Nicoletta and the violet blue flowering Nepeta grandiflora and the clump forming spikey Srelitzia juncea. Bambusa oldhamii behind will soon tower over this group
2017 update: I have a small range of Canna plants for sale.

No comments:

Post a Comment