Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Dry rhizomes for sale

The dry rhizomes are now in the shops, and this reminds me of an item in the Canna presentation that Keith and Christine Hayward deliver to gardening clubs, garden centres etc.

Keith always asserts that when you buy a packaged dry rhizome you always get three things:
  1. a name
  2. a picture
  3. a rhizome
And the only thing that you can be sure of? None of them will match!

That certainly seems the case with the one on the left above. Canna 'La Gloire' is a medium sized Crozy Group cultivar; bronze foliage, oval shaped, branching habit; round stems, coloured purple; flowers are open, self-coloured apricot, staminodes are large, edges irregular, labellum is apricot, petals purple, fully self-cleaning; fertile both ways, not self-pollinating or true to type, capsules globose; rhizomes are thick, up to 3 cm in diameter, coloured purple; tillering is average. Introduced by Vilmorin-Andrieux, France, EU in 1920.

The one in the picture looks like a red, and it certainly is not apricot. So, it waits to be seen if the rhizome matches the above description, or is something totally different.

Cynically, I am tempted to add that you always get a fourth item - Canna virus!

Club secretary's or garden centres in the South of England wanting an interesting presentation should contact Keith and Christine at Hart Canna.


  1. One thing I should of mentioned, these were not dry rhizomes! Fresh roots and with shoots already growing in the pack.
    Not at all dry and shrivelled.
    I potted these up and within 2 days the shoots are up. No joke.
    Part of the fun of buying this way is the mystery.

  2. The article was really just an excuse to recount Keith's skepticism towards the packaged rhizome trade. Plus adding my comment about virus. I have not bought anything in a packet for 3 years that did not have virus, normally so bad that I had to burn them within months. Now I don't bother, unless the name is something new, but even then it's normally a naming confusion. Why am I surprised?