Cannas are currently undergoing a new wave of popularity now that warm colours and bold foliage are back in vogue.  They are approaching their Victorian era popularity. Modern breeders have been releasing some wonderful cultivars and today there are more than 2000 cultivars to choose from.

The genus is native to semi-tropical and tropical parts of North and South America. Their native range extends from North Carolina south to Argentina and includes the Caribbean islands.

Although used for thousands of years as a food crop, Cannas were not well-known to European botanists until the 1500s. By 1576 Cannas were cultivated in gardens in several European countries. However, they only became widely popular as ornamental plants in the Victorian era (mid to late 1800's). Hundreds of cultivars were created between the 1860's and the 1910's with shorter habits and novel flower forms and colours. Unfortunately, most of these cultivars were lost because European gardeners stopped growing Canna during the upheaval from World War I through World War II. Afterwards they were subject to the fickle spells of “Fashion” and only now are they coming back into vogue.

Two modern common names for Canna are 'Arrowroot' (for its high quality starch) and 'Indian Shot' referring to the very hard, pea-like seeds of that have been used as shotgun pellets in India.

Canna varieties grow to between a height of 75-150cm (18" - 5'), but a few like Canna iridiflora may reach 3m (10') or more. The large, banana-like foliage may be green, bronze-burgundy, or variegated in a striped or marbled pattern. If you want a bright, happy, bold garden but you don't live in the tropics, think about planting cannas.

Cannas can be grown anywhere in South Africa.  However in areas where heavy frost occurs, the rhizomes (with between 4 and 7 eyes) should be lifted and stored in dry sawdust at a temperature no higher than 10°C (50°F) or mulched very well in situ until all danger of frost is past.  Most cannas like a sunny position. Off-white flowering varieties prefer dappled shade. They grow well in moist soil enriched with organic matter. Fertilise in late winter with a general fertiliser. Cannas respond well to applications of well-rotted cow manure or compost. Remove spent flower heads to maintain an attractive display. Water AT LEAST once a week. At the end of the flowering season, cut old stems down to within 2cm (1") of the ground. Lift and divide the clumps every two years.

Cannas are valuable as a food source because their rhizomes contain a high quality starch. Canna starch has the largest starch granule size in the plant kingdom and is valuable as an industrial starch in processed foods because it has a low viscosity and does not break down during cooking and freezing.

 

Canna - Catriona

Canna

A medium sized canna with red stems and red veining in leaves. Dark fleshy coloured salmon pink flo...

R75.00


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Canna - cf Wyoming

Canna hybrid

NEW exotic tall robust canna with reddish bronze paddle shaped leaves and orange flowers. It multip...

R75.00


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Canna - Cleopatra

Canna hybrid

What a picture. Spotted mottled red and yellow flowers. Green foliage sometimes with purple streak...

R90.00


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Canna - Coral Cloud

Canna hybrid

A rhizomatous exotic perennial paddle shaped leaves and muted coral flowers....

R75.00


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Canna - Golden glory

Canna hybrid

A lovely canna with large paddle shaped green leaves. Orange centred yellow flowers from summer to a...

R75.00


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Canna - King of Siam

Canna

Also known as Striped Beauty. Lovely slim green and white striped leaves with yellow flowers. Very...

R75.00


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Canna - Lemon Cream

Canna hybrid

A real beauty. Cream flowers with a pink markings in the centre....

R75.00


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Canna - Mellow Yellow

Canna

A medium sized canna with large green paddle shaped leaves. Dark yellow flowers....

R75.00


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Canna - Queen Charlotte

Canna hybrid

A striking canna with yellow edged red flowers. (Incorrectly named Fiesta) ...

R75.00


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Canna - Scarlett

Canna hybrid

A rhizomatous exotic perennial with large paddle shaped green leaves. Vermillion red flower....

R75.00


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Canna - Stuttgart

A shade loving rhizomatous exotic perennial. Green leaves with broad white variegation. Apricot flow...

R75.00


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Canna - Sunshine Yellow

Canna hybrid

A shorter form canna with bright yellow flowers. Very nice....

R75.00


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Canna - The President

Canna

A NEW exotic medium sized canna with green paddleshaped leaves and yellow edged scarlet red flowers....

R75.00


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Canna - Vanilla rose

A rhizomatous exotic perennial with large paddle shaped leaves. Large flecked pink flowers from sum...

R75.00


CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK