I promised a post on cannas – and this is for all of you facing dazzling, beautiful, overwhelming WHITE at the moment!
Allthough in mid-summer the flowers are very impressive, they are not the main reason I grow cannas.
Although I bet right now you don’t believe me!
No – I grow cannas for their leaves which give many months of joy.
Of these the most beautiful is known as ‘Durban’ or ‘Tropicanna’ or sometimes, incorrectly as someone tried to register it under this name, as ‘Phasion’.
Durban is South Africa’s most tropical city; Tropicanna is a good name for this exquisite leaf! But the joys of cannas can also be much more subtle…
And not all flowers are brash.
In fact sometimes they can be as delicate as irises.
Most cannas today are hybrids and it seems species names are not readily attached, much like with roses. Sometimes they are incorrectly referred to as Canna x hybrida, or even more incorrectly as C. hybrida.
However we do have some species cannas. The small flowers belong to two sub-species of Canna indica. The lovely red one, with a red margin and tinge to the leaf and lovely dark seed-heads seems to me to be C.i. var. warszewiczi.
Then we have a thug, a boring, invasive plant which we try constantly to eradicate. It looks very similar, but is relentlessly green, with tiny yellow and red flowers. It seems to be called Canna indica var. maculata.
We have another and quite unusual species canna, Canna iridiflora, with elegant, hanging flowers in a lovely shade of pink.
You might have seen it before where it grows in the lower Rosemary Border.
You might also remember the massed cannas really showing off their lovely leaves in the third photograph over here.
Here are a few more cannas to brighten your day.
And lastly – the bright yellow canna, which we have unfairly neglected.