Monday, 4 August 2008

Revisiting Canna 'La France'

A medium sized Italian Group cultivar; bronze foliage, oval shaped; round stems, coloured purple; flowers are open, self-coloured orange-red, throat yellow, staminodes are large, edges frilled, petals purple with farina, fully self-cleaning; fertile both ways, not self-pollinating or true to type; rhizomes are thick, up to 3 cm in diameter, coloured purple; tillering is average. Introduced by C. Sprenger, Dammann & Co., Naples, Italy, EU in 1898.

Awards: Under the synonym of Canna 'General Eisenhower', won the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) at the 2002 RHS outdoor Canna Trials.

Synonyms: C. 'Black Tropicanna', C. 'General Eisenhower', C. 'President Roosevelt'


  1. Sorry Malcolm I disagree.
    This is not the same as C.Black Tropicanna. The colour of the leaves on "B.T" are near identical to C. Australia. The flower is a deeper orange/red as well.
    I believe that this "Black Tropicanna" is the true C. King Humbert, C. La France could be just another one of those "sports" as you would call it from Y.K.H, which in theory makes it King Humbert, when Y.K.H goes all bronze it is quite simply a reversion back to what it once was. Lots of Cannas revert back to what they were, that is all Y.K.H is doing.
    That is my theory anyway, I can't prove it but; can anyone actually prove any of the research done?
    Without detailed photographs or pictures to go along with these descriptions we are all just theorising!

  2. I tried to shake a few branches with this one, and I'm glad for your response.

    I had not thought of C. 'King Humbert' as another one of the C. 'YKH' mutations, but it makes so much sense that I am embarrassed about not thinking about it!

    I just presumed that it was just the US laziness in using a forign name and calling C. 'Roi Humbert' as C. 'King Humbert'. There were so many good US nurserymen who knew about the YKH mutations and who would have thought it quite reasonable to name a sprog that way.

    Your relationships make much sense, and I think that I have some old catalogues that may provide evidence. I'll let you know what I have in another article.

    However, C. 'La France' was first intoduced in 1898 and has a long pedigree in it's own right.

    The KAVB describe it as:
    C. Sprenger, 1898; flowers orange-red, yellow at the throat, leaves brown, height over 80 cm.

    The RHS granted it an Award of Merit in 1898.

    We acquired our specimen three years ago from a lady in Paris who also provided us with several others that we thought were extinct. It just shows why we should be persistent and keep searching every summer!