Was (Canna) x 'Ehemanii' - now Alpine Cannas

threesisters@woosh.co.nz threesisters@woosh.co.nz
Thu, 20 Oct 2011 16:19:02 PDT
Thank you Jim, I wonder what I am growing so successfully here then.   We do 
not have high summer temperatures and there is maybe one frost a year, some 
years none.
I did purchase this plant from a specialist sub-tropical plant nursery so it 
might be that I ask more questions of them.

Auckland, New Zealand

-----Original Message----- 
From: James Waddick
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2011 11:22 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: [pbs] Was (Canna) x 'Ehemanii' - now Alpine Cannas

>I do grow Canna iridiflora in my garden, it needs a lot of space as
>it can reach 8-9' here in Auckland.   We shifted the clump last year
>and it was like taking out bamboo.
>Darlene  Cook
Auckland, New Zealand

Dear Friends,
There are few people/ places where you can grow C. iridiflora
successfully. It is essentially an alpine species from the southern
Andes. It is found from 1800 to 2850 m elevation in Central Peru.  It
is very difficult to grow in any climate that regularly experiences
high temperatures and it declines rapidly. Likewise is has little
frost tolerance.

Even more difficult and rare is C. liliflora, the only white
flowered species and said to be slightly fragrant. This species is
found in the S. Andes in W. Bolivia and S. Peru at altitudes of 2,000
to 2800 m.

The story of the origin of Ehemanii is quite odd, but you can
read more about it in Tanaka's "Taxonomic Revision of the Family
Cannaceae in the New World and Asia (2000)  in" Makinoa New Ser 1 :
1-74 and a new review in 'The Cannaceae of the World ' by Maas-Van de
Kames and Maas, 2008 Blumea 53: 247-318 - I think, but  I suspect the
details are also on line somewhere.

Canna liliflora as the only white, fragrant species would be
an avid subject for hybridizing to introduce both of those characters
into Cannas that can be grown in more temperate gardens.  Photos of
this species make it highly desirable, but  teasingly out of reach.

Best Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
Summer 100F +

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