Canna 'Ehemannii'

Jim McKenney
Thu, 20 Oct 2011 11:20:43 PDT
I like cannas, although it's hard to avoid the point of view that most of them look a bit like a tobacco plant with a pole in the middle on top of which there is a blob of color.
There is one blooming in the garden now which is very distinctive. It's called Canna 'Ehemannii', and it has been known since the late nineteenth century. What makes it so distinctive is that the flowers are widely spaced and they hang out horizontally or even droop from the inflorescence. In some photos I've seen it looks as if the entire inflorescence droops. 
Canna 'Ehemannii' is said to be a form or a hybrid of Canna iridiflora. If you Google Canna iridiflora, you'll see images of a very similar plant: I'm not sure what, if any, differences there are between 'Ehemannii' and Canna iridiflora. 
It's a real puzzle to me why cannas with this habit of growth - the drooping inflorescence - are not more common. Here's a canna which is actually graceful. And my sense of puzzlement is increased when I see the name Canna iridiflora in the genealogy of so many older canna hybrid strains. 
Does anyone know if there are other canna cultivars with a drooping inflorescence? And does anyone grow Canna iridiflora itself? 
 Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
My Virtual Maryland Garden
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