Saturday, 1 November 2008

A holiday romance

Photographed in Cyprus last week in a thriving bed of Cannas, literally only metres away from the sea. This Italian Group specimen has green branching foliage and this distinctive golden yellow throat, speckled with red. The orange-red petals rapidly turn a darker shade of red under the hot Mediterranean sun. I have, as yet, been unable to identify it, but I fell madly in love with it there and then, and the photo on the left taken by Margaret shows me totally besotted by this discovery. (I wish that she has instructed me to breath in first!).

The bed was only a few metres from the sea, and there is no doubt that in stormy weather it is splashed by sea-water. We all know that Canna is a tough old genus, but I never realized that it could tolerate soakings of salt water as well. Has anyone else ever had experience of this? The photograph below is what you see if you stand where I did to photograph the bed, and then do a 180 degree turn around.


  1. Malcolm, Glad you had a good holiday :-)
    The Canna looks a lot like
    C. "Orange Beauty" (It looks like the one I had anyhow I will hunt down some pics and mail them to you)I don't think it is that, I have passed 2 Cannas on to Mandy, one was what I thought could have been C. Wintzer's Colossal" the other is an unknown I got from the Canaries! All 3 are very like one another...

  2. Could it be the long lost 'Atlante'? Height looks about right and seems to match what I can decipher from the German description in Muhle. Most of the other red Italian types (with a very few exceptions and I grow these), are taller than this one pictured here and more of a light cherry red.

    'Atlante' has to turn up some time in warmer climes. Cannas are almost impossible to kill if you don't receive winter freezes. Unfortunately 'Atlante' was never imported into Australia when the Italian cannas made their early appearance here.
    This one is certainly not 'Wintzer's Colossal' or a mystery Italian job I have that is very, very close to WC, nor is it the super floriferous 'Pennsylvania'. The colour of the one pictured here is far too orange red for those.

    I compared it with my pics of what I believe to be the Conard & Jones introduction 'Orange Bedder' (syn. "Orange King" and probably also raised by Wintzer), and you could never call that one anything other than dark orange. Your find I would describe as a flame red or vermilion red and not orange.

    I noted that the leaves have the dark edging of WC but are of a lighter green and not as thick in texture as WC.

    Malcolm McFarland, nice to see you are still Canna obsessed. I think I owed you some seed from about the time you moved from France, so it was never sent. I have a new email address and I suppose you do as well. Can you email Malcolm D., your addie and he can pass it on to me, or get my new email address from him.

  3. Hi Malcolm,

    Being very much like each other is what caused the lack of interest in the Italian Group.

    I have a Wintzer's Colossal (notice that I have now learned how to spell Colossal!) with a high degree of authenticity! Directly traceable to Wintzer.

    I look forward to seeing the others that you have collected, as we now have some more source material from the time they were created.