FLORENCE VAUGHAN, 1893        
This painted lady is flamboyantly splashed and leopard-spotted in true Victorian style. Its identity is confused — it matches the International Checklist but not old catalogs, and some call it ‘Mme. Crozy’ or ‘Yellow King Humbert’. All we can say for sure is that it’s old and wonderful! Green leaves, 4-6 feet, from Oklahoma. Last offered in spring 2010. Learn more. Available elsewhere as ‘Yellow King Humbert’.
C. INDICA, 1596        
This wild, charming “Canna of the Indies” was the first to reach Europe from the New World — 400 years ago. Not too tall, with exuberant, emerald green foliage and flowers like tiny flames, it’s refreshingly different for your perennial garden or a big, bold pot. And hummingbirds flock to it! Originally known as Indian shot, 3-5 feet, from the UK National Collection and now Missouri. Last offered in spring 2010. Learn more. Available elsewhere.
INDICA PURPUREA        
With a slender profile and distinctively upright leaves of soft bronze boldly striped with red, this is, as Ian Cooke writes, a “fabulous foliage plant.” Its small, bright orange flowers suggest that it’s very old, and it’s an exceptionally popular pass-along plant in England — but beyond that its history is obscure. Can you tell us more? Bronze leaves, 5-7 feet, from the UK National Collection, now grown for us in Missouri. Last offered in spring 2010. Learn more.
KONIGEN CHARLOTTE, 1892        
‘Queen Charlotte’ is one of our oldest cannas, and it looks the part. It’s intense and exuberant in a high-Victorian, “painted lady” kind of way, with loads of small, neat blossoms of bright red edged with yellow. Aka ‘Reine Charlotte’, green leaves, 3-5 feet, from Missouri. Last offered in spring 2009. Learn more.
LIBERATION, 1920        
A warm apricot marbled with orange, gold, and even pink, ‘Liberation’ looks as if it were painted by Rubens. In lovely contrast, its buds have a grape-like bloom that makes them appear, as expert Ian Cooke says, “almost lavender.” Ahhhhh! Green leaves, 4-5 feet, from Missouri. Last offered in spring 2010. Learn more.
LOUIS CAYEUX, 1924        
Christopher Lloyd, the grand old man of English gardening, liked this canna so well he sent it to the RHS’s landmark Canna Trial of 2002 where judges ranked it as one of the very best. No photo can do it justice, but its big, billowy, almost glowing flowersof rosy salmon will draw you from across the garden. Green leaves, 3-5 feet, from Missouri. Last offered in spring 2010. Learn more.
MADAME ANGELE MARTIN, 1915        
The subtle beauty of this French classic eludes our camera. It’s not orange but a soft gold, apricot, and pink, like a summer sunrise, enhanced by olive-bronze foliage that one enraptured fan calls “pearly and mysterious.” 3-5 feet, from Missouri. Last offered in spring 2010. Learn more.
MADAME CASENEUVE, 1902        
One look and we fell in love with heart-breakingly lovely ‘Madame Paul Caseneuve’. Its sensual flowers are apricot maturing to an ethereal pink, and they’re set off by lustrous burgundy foliage that Árpád Mühle in his 1909 Das Geschlecht der Canna praised as “luxurious”. Our Spring 2005 Heirloom Bulb of the Year, it’s a customer favorite every year. 3-5 feet, from Missouri. Last offered in spring 2008. Learn more.
MUSIFOLIA, 1858        
The “Banana Canna” is one of the oldest and most impressive of all. Introduced from Peru in 1858 by Monsieur Année, godfather of cannas, it’s an architectural giant, 8-12 feet tall with big, green, maroon-edged leaves and tiny, late, red flowers. Thanks to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for helping us get it back into gardens! Missouri-grown. Last offered in spring 2010. Learn more. Available elsewhere.
OISEAU D’OR, 1918        
Not quite white, ‘Oiseau d’Or’ is a pale, unsalted-butter yellow with a surprise if you look closely – a scattering of almost invisible pink dots. Its name (say “Wah-ZO Door”) means “Golden Bird,” and it’s especially lovely combined with pastel perennials. Green leaves, 3-4 feet, from France. Last offered in spring 2010. Learn more.
Page 2 of Cannas: Lost?
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