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Web Review – Modern Canna Cultivars
One of the most confusing and annoying problems when marketing canna lilies or buying canna rhizomes from the retail market is the practice of giving illegal names to old or new hybrid canna cultivars. One of the reasons marketers change the name of the canna lily is to offer people a new canna option to plant in the garden. Another reason is to rename a canna that has become popular with gardeners. This practice of renaming flowers is not only a recent phenomenon, it started from the Victorian era. Plant taxonomists have also made many arguments about the proper nomenclature of native Cana species. For example, William Bartram founded Fort Frederica, Ga., in 1773. Travels here, page 153, recorded the discovery of Cana lutea, growing luxuriantly, but modern taxonomists have named it Cana, Cana flaccida. Bartram also records in his book, Travels, page 424, the discovery of the red flowers, a 9 ft.- tall ear growing near Mobile, Al, but the Canna indica, named by William Bartram after the American Indians, is now disputed. has gone This confusion was not beneficial to the development and marketing of the canna lily.
Modern canna cultivars, in one case, may have originated from Luther Burbank’s wild, native American, Canna flaccida, back-cross to Madame Crozi. Burbank was a forward-thinking hybridizer who realized that Victorian-era canna cultivars exhibited large flowers with many bright colors, but he also knew that his gold medal, prize-winning canna, “Tarytown,” later named “Florence Vaughan” was changed. Old flower clusters dropped, flower stalks appeared fresh. In the Victorian era, cannas generally retained their old flowers on flowering stems, sometimes filled with ugly, brown clusters of flowers that no one liked. Burbank noted the desire of canna stems to drop their spent flowers to the ground. Burbank also saw the value of developing canna flowers in soft, pastel colors. This was evident in his “Eureka,” a white canna creation, and his pastel-colored canna hybrids collectively named ‘Burbank.’
Modern canna hybrids are discussed as a group, because most of the good and reliable producers were developed through an intelligent canna program of hybridization, rather than random selection by chance, of natural hybrids showing superior characteristics for selection. A few collectors and travelers gathered selected canna hybrids from around the world and made them available for distribution and sale to wholesalers and mail order companies.
The DuPont family, of Delaware chemical fame, established a permanent garden for its plant collection in the late 1700s, later named Longwood Gardens. A beautiful pastel pink, large flowering ear still grows there, named after the wife of one of the late founders, Mrs. Pierre Dupont. Today Longwood Gardens lists 23 cultivars on its Internet site and has its own hybridization program that distributes canna productions for trial for retail sale to garden centers in various parts of the US. Still undecided whether these are Canna or not. Hybrids have long been acceptable to gardeners, but they have recently become available on some Internet sites.
The American Daylily and Perennials Company of Missouri has released a series of canna cultivars called ‘Futurity’, which appear to have been used in the marketing strategies of some wholesale suppliers and to some extent for container garden centers. It is unclear which named canna hybrids were actually released by the American Daylily and Perennials Company, or which additional names were added by canna hybridizers by renaming older varieties with the ‘futurity’ tag. An Internet mailorder company claims for sale: Pink Futurity Canna, Yellow Futurity Canna, Rose Futurity Canna, Yellow Futurity Canna, Orange Futurity Canna, and Bi-Color Futurity Canna.
One of the most notable suppliers of high-quality canna rhizomes to the wholesale trade in the 1980s was Ms. Rosalind Sarver of California. Her main business interest was in the azalea plant which she marketed extensively. Mrs. Sarver’s interest in azaleas was fueled by her travels to the Orient, which introduced many new azalea varieties to the United States. While visiting Beijing, China, she discovered a strangely colored and variegated ear which she exported in large quantities to California. That canna was named Cleopatra, which grows to a height of 5-6 feet and has glossy, waxy-green leaves that appear to be somewhat immune to most canna problems from pests and diseases. The bright yellow flowers are randomly streaked with red, sometimes randomly dotted with red or pink. The leaves are randomly streaked with red and sometimes a leaf is half red or in rare cases completely maroon. The maroon color can move upward in a band around the stem where it is translated as red markings on yellow in the individual flowers. The rare Cleopatra canna plant can occasionally mutate and then divide into completely, maroon-colored cannas to produce a plant called “tie tie red,” in which the color covers the entire leaf surface and the flowers are completely maroon, about twice as long. Flower size of Red King Humbert. The Ty Ty Red canna plant is dwarf, 3-4 feet tall, and has never returned to any of the green color evident in the original Cleopatra – completely maroon in both flower and leaf. Other very important cana cultivars distributed by Ms. Sarver were: Eileen Gallo, Crimson Beauty, Rosalinda, First Lady, Rosalind Carter, named after the wife of the heir to the Gallo wine fortune in California, and the famous ‘Cleopatra’, an oriental hybrid that may have been a mutation of “The Humbert Cana” original series. developed.
From Ty Ty Nursery came a series of canna hybrids, mostly in the 1980s: Journey’s End, a bi-color with red and pink spots on yellow petals; Malcolm’s red, a dwarf red ear with a yellow petal margin that surrounds all the flowers; Maudie Malcolm, a rare lavender colored bloom; bright green leaf with red stripe, red veins and midvein; Rosever, rose, large flower with red leaves; and Ty Ty Red, a stable mutant with orange flowers and vine leaves, which mutated from Cleopatra.
A host of variegated leaf canna varieties are offered to modern markets. Englishman Ian Cooke, a world canna lily expert, suggested that the widely marketed and patented ‘Tropicana’, a striped-leaved canna with orange flowers and orange, yellow and red striped leaves, which he described as “most extraordinary and outrageous Is. Colored Canna”, introduced in 1994 in England under the name Durban and Fashion. This renaming and misnaming has been repeated in many other variegated leaf ear cultivars, such as Striped Beauty, also named Nirvana, and Crystal Light, which produces lemon yellow flowers with a pure white cross in the center and pale green leaves. There are variegated white stripes.
Pretoria canna’s fate to change its original name, Bengal Tiger, which produced orange flowers and orange stripes on medium green leaves. A variegated canna cultivar, “Stuttgart,” was briefly marketed with nice photos of white, pointed, random stripes on green leaves. It was a dismal flop in the canna garden, most of the rhizomes showed no variety, but those that did, became disfigured, disfigured, weedy, fake-a-way, even unfit for the garbage heap. Pink Sunburst was a beautiful creamy-pink flower with leaves of indescribable beauty and charm. The leaves were delicately striped with a kaleidoscope of beautiful shades of green, cream, pink, yellow and orange. Unfortunately this extraordinarily desirable plant was infected with a virus that completely removed it from the United States retail market, although some merchants claimed to have it in stock, orders were returned unpaid. This might turn out to be for the best, because even though it was one of the most beautiful and desirable Canna hybrids ever made, it was cursed with a weakness that made it ridiculous to continue saving it. No, gardeners do not have to face the challenge of caring for a plant that has failed due to virus attacks, for which there is no remedy and no recovery.
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