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

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Thu, 20 Oct 2011 15:22:22 PDT
>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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