Saturday, 15 December 2007

New Italian Group cultivar

While most Canna breeders have been concentrating on developing new cultivars from the Crozy originating stock or even crossing back to species, Mr Bernard Yorke, in Australia, has also been experimenting with the Italian Group (what used to be called x orchoides) material. The picture below is a reminder to us all that we should not forget about the other possibilities.

The picture above has a distinct resemblance to Canna 'Wyoming'. The pollen parent is either C. 'Wyoming' or C. 'Pretoria', as experiments were made with both as pollen parents at the same time. Mr Yorke commented that "The leaves are just a shade lighter than C. 'Wyoming', but the flower is remarkably similar. Where the interest lies in this seedling is the fact that this is probably the first published large floppy orchoide type bred in the modern era of Canna breeding. The modified petal-like staminoides seems particularly large too. Even larger than the old hybrids of this type produced by Dammann & Co. and Wintzer a century ago."

[Ed. The only recent cultivars of this type appear to have been mutations. Whilst the diploid Italian Cannas are all seed sterile, the pollen is still fertile, although less fertile than that from the Crozy types, and is still a practical proposition that offers different possibilities. The colour range available from Italian cannas is restricted, but they still have interesting possibilities.]

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