Saturday, 18 August 2007

England can only watch on

Garden and forest. / Volume 7, Issue 323. [May 2, 1894, 171-180]

CANNAS.-Mr. George Paul, the Chestnut nurseryman who has paid special attention to the improved race of garden Cannas, read a paper upon them before a recent meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society. He dealt chiefly with their cultural requirements and points connected with their improvement; the paper is, therefore, a useful supplement to that read before the same society in the summer by Mr. Baker, of Kew, which treated upon the botany of Cannas.

The principal breeder of these plants in recent years, Monsieur Crozy, of Lyons, informed Mr. Paul that he began to breed them about twenty years ago with C. 'Warscewiczii' and C. 'Nepalense grandiflora', and raised from them C. 'Bonnetti', a variety much appreciated at that time. Since then he has gradually improved the Canna in habit and size of flower, and by the time he raised and distributed the variety called C. 'Madame Crozy', one of the best ever raised, he had 1,500 seedlings from which he obtained many good varieties in nearly all shades of color.

Recently he has paid special attention to the seedlings with shades of rose and carmine in the flowers, as well as white. Monsieur Vilmorin, Herr Pfitzer and Mr. Paul himself have raised seedling Cannas, but he modestly disclaims having produced anything to rival Monsieur Crozy's seedlings. The value of Cannas for summer gardening is certainly very great. In England they have become a prominent feature in most good gardens, the London parks and Kew growing them largely. They are most effective when grown in large beds on lawns, and I think they look best when only one sort fills each bed. In greenhouses they are equally useful, and they grow and flower perfectly in a tropical house. The most effective plants I have seen were growing in the Victoria tank at Glasnevin last June, the perfect foliage and large richly colored flowers being charming over the water.

Cannas are emphatically everybody's plants. Mr. Paul gives the following list of the best varieties hitherto raised.

Crimson-purple: Sophie Buchner, L. H. Bailey, Alphonse Bouvier, Miss Sarah Hill, C. A. de Choiseuil, Victor Hugo.

Salmon-red: President Hardy, Professor David, Cronstadt, Souvenir d'Asa Gray, Thomas S. Ware, The Garden.

Crimson-yellow: Henri L. deVilmorin, Count de Ganay.

Yellow-edged: Paul Sigrist, Marquise d'Aigle, Admiral Gervais and Madame Crozy.

But the greatest advance, in Mr. Paul's opinion, is in the gains of the last two years in the new yellow-spotted varieties. The best of these are Comtesse d'Estoile, Progression, Antoine Barton and L. H.

London. W. Watson.

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