Thursday, 6 May 2010

Canna 'Louis Cottin'

A small Premier Group cultivar; dark foliage, oval shaped, maroon margin, branching habit; triangular stems, coloured green + purple; panicles of flowers are open, yellow-orange and apricot, staminodes are medium size, edges irregular, petals purple with farina, fully self-cleaning; fertile both ways, not self-pollinating or true to type, capsules globose; rhizomes are thick, up to 3 cm in diameter, coloured pink; tillering is prolific.

Synonym: C. 'Louise Cotton'. It is not known who introduced this cultivar.

Named for Louis Emile Cottin, who attempted to assassinate the French president and fought in the Durruti Column in the Spanish Civil War. Nicknamed Milou, born 14 March 1896 - Creil, France, died 8 September 1937 - Farlete, Spain.

Emile Cottin was raised at Compiegne in a working class family, becoming a carpenter-cabinet maker. He starting reading Zola and became interested in libertarian ideas.

From a breeding perspective, this is one of the best seed parents around, producing full, round Premier Group flowers, and the colour combinations it can produce are not yet exhausted. Anyone wanting to begin experimenting with new Canna varieties could not do better than to start using this one as a seed parent.

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