Carl Ludwig Sprenger was a German botanist, born on 30 November 1846 at Güstrow, Mecklembourg and died 13 December 1917 on the
Sprenger lived in
The eruption of Vesuvius [April 4, 1906] buried his plants under volcanic ash, destroying hundreds of his best specimens." Sprengers' life was in ruins.
In 1907, Kaiser Wilhelm (William II) purchased Achilleion, a garden with a palace on
Sprenger's life had had no sound; Fairchild wrote that he was "very deaf". Perhaps he loved plants so much because they spoke in colours, shapes, and scents. In the end, he did not even have flowers. The man who surrounded himself with plants died December 13, 1917, a hostage of war. Being German and living on a Greek island in the middle of the First World War was high-risk, but at 70 years of age he was not prepared to leave behind his beloved plants and move to another country. Nobody was able to establish what really happened, but it is hard to see what threat a 71 year old, deaf, botanist posed that justified his murder.
Canna (Italian Group) 'Italia', Sprenger 1893
Sprenger had concluded that by constantly interbreeding the large flowered Crozy varieties nothing novel or more remarkable could be secured, and he, therefore, experimented with some new blood, employing for this purpose the Canna flaccida, a species of the southern USA, of medium height and large flowers, with one specially developed petal. The result was what became known as the 'Orchid' Cannas or the 'Italian' Cannas. A few years later, Luther Burbank in the
- 1893, Canna 'Italia' and Canna '
- 1894, Canna 'Atalanta', Canna '
', Canna 'Burgundia' and Canna 'Allemaniana' America
- 1895, Canna '
', Canna 'Britannia' , Canna 'Heinrich Seidel' Bavaria
- 1896, Canna 'Pandora'
- 1897, Canna 'Edouard André', Canna 'Parthénopé' and Canna 'Roma'
- 1907, Canna 'Wilhelm Bofinger', Canna 'Pluto'
- 1909, Canna 'Roi Humbert'