Sunday, 13 April 2008

Describe Cannas: Height

When describing Cannas we need to use terminology that can be understood by everybody concerned. However, height does give us special problems. Wherever we are in the world we can categorize Cannas as being:
  • Miniature
  • Small
  • Standard (medium)
  • Tall
  • Giant
So, that's simple enough. Job done, let's go home!

Problem... a cultivar that will grow to 50cm (1'8") in Northern Europe will grow up to 90cm (2'6") tall in tropical countries. The perfect growing conditions in the tropics and sub tropics can add 30 cm (1ft) to the smaller varieties and up to 100 cm (3'3") with the largest giant varieties.

It is obvious that collectors in different latitudes need to provide their own definitions of what the terms above mean in their own areas. While there may be exceptions, it is likely that individual cultivars will stay in the same height categories at each latitude definition.

So, for us in the northern European growing range, I would state that our definitions are:

  • Miniature - up to 50 cm ((19")
  • Small - up to 100 cm (3'3")
  • Standard (medium) - 100 cm (3'3") to 200 cm (6'6")
  • Tall - 2 metres (6'6") to 3 metres (9'9")
  • Giant - over 2 metres (9'9")
It would be interesting to hear from other collectors and growers at other latitudes adding their own definitions to these height categories. I believe that the northern American states would probably have the same sizes. However, in Southern Europe and the Southern States we can expect additional height growth.

Margaret Dalebö fronting Canna 'Skyhawk'

Canna 'Skyhawk', a giant Canna, which in Northern Europe grows up to 3.5 metres (12'), but which has reports of 4.5 metres (15') at latitudes closer to the equator.

The next question is whether these height categories should be translated into Cultivar groups. More to follow on that subject.

No comments:

Post a Comment