Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Canna 'President' origins established

In an effort to clear any past misconception about the origin of the above cultivar, Kent Kelly has located a brief advertisement from the Conard & Jones Co. stating that "A. Wintzer originated this cultivar and C. & J. introduced it."

"This publication is dated a least a few years after information was published by other companies offering it for sale but not claiming to be the introducer."

"Assuming C. & Jones did indeed introduce ‘The President’ there likely is no correlation between the cultivar ‘Queen of Beauty’ and ‘The President’."

"This C & J information was published in “Gardeners Chronicle of America” in 1922-23."

Thanks are due to Kent for his detective work, but I think that he is being too conservative when he uses the term "assuming" to qualify the Conard & Jones claim. I have been studying their literature for over a decade and I have never encountered a blatant untruth, sometime a little exaggeration over plant qualities, but never a lie. I am happy to believe totally that Canna 'President' was raised by Antoine Wintzer, and introduced by C & J.

What now remains is to establish which is the real Canna 'President'. I have so far encountered four different plants using that name, and over the next few days I will post details and photographs of each one.


  1. For Kent Kelly
    I enjoyed your remarks about Conard Pyle and the 'President' canna.
    While you were doing your research did you by any chance find out the dates of Antoine Wintzer's birth and death?
    I m writing a book,"Visions of Loveliness: the work of forgotten flower breeders" and would like to include Wintzer.
    If you would like to see what I write go to my web site:
    Thank you
    Judith Taylor

  2. Judith,
    If you look on Wikipedia under "Conard Pyle Co." you will see my own contribution to Monsieur Wintzer.

    Another worth writing about is Monsieur Annee, again Wikepedia has my knowledge of his contribution.