The name Canna originates from the Celtic word for a cane or reed. How a plant native to South America has a Celtic name is a mystery to me! This is a genus of perennials that are rhizomatous.
A rhizome is a horizontal stem of a plant that is usually found underground and often sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. The genus consists of about 25 species. The interesting thing about these plants is that they do not have true stems. Instead, what apear to be stems are collections of tightly furled leaf bases, rising from the rhizomes.
The flowers are carried on slender stems that arise from the false stems and are narrow-petalled in the wild varieties but broad-petalled in the hybrids. Some of the varieties have large, crumpled flowers with striking variegations, a few of which resemble orchids. They flower in a wide range of vibrant colours, from yellows through oranges and reds, apricots, creams and pinks and some have a speckled apearance.
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The more modern hybrids now have fantastic leaf colours as well: a variety of greens, purples and bronzes with stripes of contrasting colours in symmetrical forms, which provide a colorful display even when the plant is not flowering. Cannas are very forgiving and will grow in most conditions apart from frost. They can, however, be grown in cooler areas by lifting the rhizomes over winter and storing them in hessian sack in a warm place until spring. They are sun-loving plants which thrive in hot dry weather as long as they have sufficient water.
Cut back hard after flowering. Do check to see how tall your Canna of choice grows as they vary in height from 45cm to 2.4m.Some species are also grown as potted plants. They can be used in herbaceous borders, where the large leaves provide a strong element of contrast to other textures, tropical plantings, as a patio or decking plant and in wet areas.
With gorgeous lush green foliage and fiery red blooms this Canna makes a very strong statement when planted en masse. Great for adding a touch of the tropics to your planting scheme. Prefers a warm sunny position. Perennial.
Colour: Red Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1m
Dwarf Canna. Lush foliage and stems of sunny yellow blooms will add a warm tropical look to the summer garden. Loves the sun and soil that does not dry out completely in summer. Cut back hard to the ground after flowering and mulch the rhizomes for winter protection. Perennial.
Colour: Yellow Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 65cm x 50cm
These sturdy perennials are growing in popularity with their attractive yellow and green foliage making a strong statement with the added bonus of bright orange blooms which appear from summer onwards. If looked after they can flower for up to 6 months. PVR.
Colour: Yellow / Orange Habit: Clump forming Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 0.5m