Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Canna 'Rigoletto'

A medium sized Italian Group cultivar; green foliage, oval shaped, spreading habit; oval stems, coloured green; panicles of flowers are cupped, self-coloured yellow, throat some soft-pink mottling, staminodes are large, edges ruffled, stamen is yellow, petals yellow, fully self-cleaning; fertile both ways, not self-pollinating or true to type; rhizomes are thick, up to 3 cm in diameter, coloured white; tillering is prolific.

Said by some authorities to be the finest yellow canna ever grown. One of the Opera series of Canna bred by Howard and Smith Nursery of Los Angeles, USA in the 1930's.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Malcolm,

    this looks suspiciously like Canna 'Burbank', which disappeared from US catalogues prior to 'Rogoletto' making a miraculous appearance. I believe this is yet another older Canna that became a victim of marketing hype and was renamed.

    As far as I can determine, (using the criteria that they appear all-yellow from a distance and are free of largish solid, patches of red overlay); there have only ever been three yellow Italian-type cannas raised: 'Austria', 'Asia'. and 'Burbank'. All three have varying degrees and shades of reddish markings on the base of the main staminodes.

    The first two are very similar but their foliage differs in that 'Asia' grows with a more relaxed habit and lacks the tight, upright, slightly lanceolate foliage of 'Austria'. The bright lettuce green colour of 'Austria's' foliage is also distinctive.

    The US raised 'Burbank' is in a class of it's own. The flower heads are not as crowded and being better spaced, the blooms do not look at the sky as is the case with 'Austria' and to a lesser extent 'Asia', but look at the gardener. They are beautifully poised and last longer than those of the two raised in Italy.

    The foliage on 'Burbank' is broader than that of either 'Austria' or Asia' although 'Asia's' foliage is similarly coloured (mid-green)and poised to 'Burbank's' but not as opulent, being a bit smaller in leaf length and width.

    I have been looking in vain for some really good photographs of the so-called 'Rigoletto' growing in optimum conditions so that I could make a definitive judgement on the ID. To date I have not found any. It would be nice to see the habit of growth at mid-season.