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.
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 - they can flower for up to 6 months. Mulch in winter to protect from frost. PVR. Perennial
These sturdy perennials are growing in popularity with their striking foliage making a strong statement in the garden. This Canna has dark purple coloured leaves and stems of brillant tangerine flowers which appear from summer, if looked after they can flower for up to 6 months. Perennial PVR.
Cut back after flowering and mulch the rhizomes for winter protection.
These sturdy perennials are growing in popularity with their attractive yellow and green striped foliage making a strong statement in the garden. Bright yellow flowers with splashes of orange in the centre appear from summer, if looked after they can flower for up to 6 months. Perennial. PVR.
Cut back after flowering and mulch the rhizomes for winter protection. Perennial.