FEW bedding plants give as much satisfaction as the modern French Canna. Cannas are easily cared for in winter, easily started in spring, and with good, rich soil are almost a certain success. The general characteristics of the florists' Canna are so well marked that, although scores of new.varieties are introduced every year, it is quite easy to include all the best in a selection of twenty. There are lacking the trifling differences we find in Roses, Carnations and Chrysanthemums which fix the popularity of one variety above another in different sections of the country. The best crimson Canna is the best everywhere. The same can be said of other colors.. In the march of improvement every step is toward a certain ideal which all growers and raisers aini for. The typical Canna should have the terminal truss, or spike, erect and well developed; the flowers should be large; the petals broad and long-limbed, so as to make an evenly rounded flower, standing well out, spreading rather than erect, not bunched, but evenly distributed on all sides of the flower-stem. The new crimson F. R. Pierson comes nearest to this ideal.
There is some divergence from the Madame Crozy type, but no decided improvement, and no variety is fit to supplant it, though variations from the Crozy type have given us many handsome varieties. Souvenir d'Antoine Crozy (see above) is undoubtedly the best. The scarlet ground is a trifle deeper in tone; the distinct yellow border is fully one-eighth of an inch deep and uniform. A mass of this Canna. at Mr. James Farquhar's, of Claredon Hills, Massachusetts, makes a beautiful display. Mrs. Fairman Rogers, which was honored with a silver medal by. the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, has proved disappointing so far as I have seen. It was shown from plants growing indoors as a giant Crozy, with a wide yellow border. Planted out it is in no way superior to Madame Crozy. Still further deviation from the Crozy type shows a wide and irregular yellow border, denoting the influence of the yellow varieties in the breeding. Queen Charlotte is the handsomest of these that I have seen; the yellow and the crimson in it are about equally divided. Next comes Vanden Berg, Junior, with scarlet in place of the crimson ground; the petals are broad and the arrangement of the flowers good. As a bedder this is a striking novelty of medium height and sturdy growth. Madame Bouvier is similar to the last named, but a foot taller.
In dark-leaved varieties we should expect little improvement in the size of the flowers, since they are used principally as foliage-plants, but advance in size and color of the flowers has been as great as in the green-leaved varieties. I consider J. D. Cabos the most beautiful of all. The habit is sturdy and free. The spike is neatly formed and free from laterals; the color is clear orange. President Carnot is a giant and a grand foliaged plant. C. Vaughan carries a spike of scarlet flowers equal in size and form to any green-leaved variety.
Wellesley, Mass. T. D. Hatfield.