Friday, 27 June 2008

Revisiting Canna 'Van Houttei'

A tall Foliage Group cultivar; green and purple variegated foliage, very large, lanceolate shaped, maroon margin, upright habit; oval stems, coloured purple; spikes of flowers are erect, self-coloured scarlet, staminodes are small, edges serrated, petals purple with farina, fully self-cleaning, good bloomer; fertile both ways, not self-pollinating or true to type, capsules globose; rhizomes are long and thin, coloured white; tillering is average.

Introduced by Lierval, rue de Villiers, au Thernes, France, EU. in 1861.

Named for Louis-Benoit Van Houtte, 1810–76, a Belgian horticulturalist and politician . He assembled extensive plant collections on travels in South and Central America. He was associated with the Jardin Botanique de Bruxelles, 1836–8. In 1839, he moved to Gentbrugge, where he founded the Ecole d'Horticulture and the horticultural journal Flora des serres et des Jardins de l'Europe. Walter Pfitzer, son of the founding Wilhelm Pfitzer, gained his early training at the Van Houtte nursery establishment in the 1860's.

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