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Italian Group Canna cultivated in Brazil
Habit: herbaceous
Height:  ?
Origin:  ?
Exposure:  ?
Water:  ?
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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > Magnoliophyta > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > Liliopsida > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Zingiberales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Cannaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > Canna {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} var.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture
Canna (Crozy Group) 'Alberich'

Canna (name of oriental origin, of no application). Cannaceae. Popular tall ornamental plants, prized for their stately habit, strong foliage and showy flowers; much used for bedding.

Stout, unbranched: fls. mostly red or yellow, in a terminal raceme or panicle, very irregular: caps. 3-loculed and several to many-seeded (Fig. 779, p.) ; sepals(s) 3 and small and usually green; petals (ccc) 3, mostly narrow and pointed, green or colored; style (e) single and long; the stamens are commonly petal-like, oblanceolate bodies or staminodia (aaab), 2 or 3 of which are usually much produced and broadened, and one is deflexed and narrower and forms the lip of the fl. (b); the pollen is borne in a single-loculed anther (f), borne on the side of a narrow and more or less coiled staminodium.— In the latest monograph, 1912 (Kranzlin, in Engler's Pflanzenreich, hft. 56), 51 species of Canna are described from subtropical and tropical Amer. and Asia.

A generation or two ago, cannas were grown for their foliage or mass-effect. They were tall and long-jointed, with small and late flowers (Fig. 780). An old-time garden race of tall cannas was C. Annaei, raised by M. Annee, of France, from seeds of the true C. nepalensis, sown in 1848. The flowers from which the seeds were taken probably had been pollinated by some other species, most likely with C. glauca. In 1863, a new race appeared, as the result of the union of C. iridiflora with C. Warscewiczii. This hybrid was known as C. Ehemanni (and C. iridiflora hybrida). This was of intermediate stature, with showy foliage and better drooping flowers. Under this name plants are still sold, but they may not be identical with the original C. Ehemanni. This race has been variously crossed with other species and forms, and from innumerable seedlings there have been selected the dwarf and large-flowered cannas (Figs. 781,782), which have now practically driven out the old tall small-flowered forms. These dwarf cannas are often known as French cannas, from the country of their origin; also, as Crozy cannas, from a renowned breeder of them. Within recent years, another race of cannas has arisen from the amalgamation of our native C. flaccida with the garden forms and with C. iridiflora. These have come mostly from Italy and are known as Italian cannas; also as orchid-flowered cannas. The flowers are characterized by soft and flowing iris-like outlines, but they are short-lived. Of this class are the varieties Italia (Fig. 783), Austria, Bavaria, Burgundia, America, Pandora, Burbank and others. For a sketch of the evolution of the garden cannas, see J. G. Baker, Journ. Roy. Hort. Soc., Jan., 1894; also, for the history of the Italian race, Revue Horticole, 1895. 516, and Gardeners' Chronicle, Dec. 14, 1895; Kranzlin, cited above.

The culture of cannas is simple and easy. They demand a warm, friable, rich and moist soil. They are injured by frost, and therefore should not be planted out until the weather is thoroughly settled. For dense mass effects, set the plants not more than 1 foot apart each way, but if it is desired to show individual plants and their flowers at the best, give three times that amount of room to a single plant. Pick the flowers as soon as they wilt, to prevent the formation of seeds (which causes the plant to lessen flowering), and keep the plants in tidy condition. Give the soil and treatment that produce the best results with Indian corn.

New varieties are raised from seeds. The seeds usually germinate slowly, and sometimes not at all, unless the integument is cut or filed, or is softened by soaking in water; these precautions taken, they germinate quickly. Sow late in winter, in rather strong bottom heat, in flats or pots. Prick out, and give plenty of room. They should make blooming plants the first year.

Commonly, cannas are propagated by dividing the rootstock. This rootstock is a branchy mass, with many large buds. If stock is not abundant, as many plants may be made from a rootstock as there are buds, although the weak buds produce weak plants. Leave as much tissue as possible with each bud. These one-bud parts usually give best results if started in pots, so that the plant is 6 to 12 inches high at planting time. The commercial canna plants are grown mostly in pots. If one has sufficient roots, however, it is better not to cut so close, but to leave several strong buds on each piece (as shown in Fig. 784). These pieces may be planted directly in the ground, although more certain results are to be secured by starting them in the house in boxes or pots. If strong effects are desired, particuarly in shrub borders, it is well to plant the entire stool. In the fall, when tho plants are killed by frost and the tops have dried a few days, dig the roots, and let them dry, retaining some of the earth on them. Then store them on shelves in a cellar that will keep Irish or round potatoes well. Take care that the roots do not become too warm, particularly before cold weather sets in; nor too moist. Well-cured roots from matured plants usually keep without much difficulty. If they do not hold much earth, it is well to throw a thin covering of light soil over them, particularly if they are the highly improved kinds.

Cannas are commonly used only in formal beds, but most excellent effects may be secured by scattering them singly or in very small clumps in the hardy border or amongst shrubbery. Against a heavy background of green, the gaudy flowers show to their best, and the ragged effect of the dying flowers is not noticed. They also make excellent centerpieces for formal beds. The tall-growing cannas, with small and late flowers, have given way almost wholly to the modern race of Crozy or French dwarf cannas, which usually remain under 4 feet high, and give an abundance of large early flowers. The canna always must be used for bold planting effects, because the flowers have not sufficient durability to be very useful as cut- flowers. As individual blooms, the flowers are not usually attractive, but they are showy and interesting in the mass and at a distance. The new race of Italian or Flaccida cannas has more attractive flowers, but even these are most useful when on the plant.

It is impossible for the gardener to determine species of canna in the common garden forms. In fact, the species are little known except in herbaria and as wild plants growing in their original habitats. The monographers do not agree as to the definitions of what have been described as original or wild species. The following account of species is included more for the purpose of showing the range within the genus and of making a catalogue of leading botanical names than to set specific limits or to indicate what species- forms are in cultivation. The Crozy experiments began with crossing C. Warscewicsii with a variety of C. nepalensis of gardens (C. flaccida?) having large yellow flowers and very long creeping tubers; and some of the progeny was crossed with C. aureopicta (a garden form). The recent attractive orchid-flowered cannas spring largely from the C. flaccida forms.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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In the last three decades of the 20th century, Canna species have been categorised by two different taxonomists, Paul Maas, from the Netherlands and Nobuyuki Tanaka from Japan. Both reduced the number of species from the 50-100 that had been accepted previously, and assigned most to being synonyms. Inevitably, there are some differences in their categorisations, and the individual articles on the species describes those differenceswp.

See also Canna species synonyms.


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