Thursday, 18 March 2010

Canna 'Intrigue'

A tall Foliage Group cultivar; purple foliage, large, lanceolate shaped, upright habit; round stems, coloured purple; flowers are open, self-coloured orange-red, staminodes are long and narrow, edges regular, petals purple with farina, fully self-cleaning; fertile both ways, not known if true to type, self-pollinating, capsules round; rhizomes are long and thin, coloured white and pink; tillering is prolific.

Apparently one of the most outstanding new introductions of the late century, its tall distinctive upright habit make a strong architectural statement. The earliest reference is Kelly's Plant World, California, USA. catalogue of 1989. However, it transpires that this cultivar was acquired by the UK National Collections who were unable to trace its origins and so gave it a new name. The real name is still out there, and we will probably be able to realign it with its real name as more of the Eastern European Botanical gardens become online. There is a strong Canna tradition in Eastern Europe, and we have acquired some of our heritage specimens from those sources.

In addition to C. 'Intrique, new names were also given at that time to other old cultivars as C. 'Mystique' and C. 'Passionata'. So, there are three old foliage group members waiting to acquire their real names.

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