Sunday, 10 June 2007

Canna ahead of its time.

Ahead of its time, we have our first flower for 2007 from a seedling of ours, numbered CC192. I know that others in warmer climates will have experienced new flowers earlier, but we are located up in the English midlands, near the northen limits of Cannas growing range.

The cup shaped flower is a delicate pastel yellow with rays of light orange emulating from the throat. The first spike contains about 20 buds, so it looks like it will be a strong bloomer. The green foliage is ovoid and thick; one for lasting through droughts and hail-storms, like we had only 9 days ago.

We have several hundred other numbered seedlings to trial this year, and because of the risk of virus, we are now growing the collection elsewhere, and using the house garden as the nursery for new seedlings and those that make it through to being numbered.

Normally, only a handful of new seedlings will make it through to being named and registered, but they all need to be carefully monitored, and regularly checked, so that nothing is missed. CC192 looks like a winner, but we have to watch out for things like self-cleaning, good leaf unfurling, and how many spikes each stem produces... then how many stems it produces.

Meanwhile, the collection is growing in size again, after the virus culling of the last two years. Already, Canna 'Viva' is in full flower, and in the next few days we will see flowers from C. 'Orange Punch' and C. 'Bavaria'. This early flowering is lifting our spirits after the poor start to the year. I am starting to look forward to going outside at 6am with a cup of coffee and cotton buds, ready to start pollinating again. So, the annual cycle continues...

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