Thor Dalebö.

Comparison of Crozy and Italian Groups

We have two old prints to illustrate the differences between the Crozy Group and the Italian Group of Cannas. The prints date from the late 1800’s when these two groups were being created and perpetuated.

CannaAntoine Crozy

The two prints together illustrate the difference between the Crozy Group and the Italian Group that followed. The first print (C. ‘Antoine Crozy’) shows the narrower petals of the gladiolus-type French canna and the right (C. ‘Austria’) shows the so-called, orchid-type ‘Italian Job’, with petals (really staminodes) that are large, showy, crinkled edges and inclined to be a little floppy (flaccid), showing their descent from the USA species C. flaccida. In addition, the lip (labellum) is larger than the petals.


Comparison of the two basic canna types

Character Crozy Group Italian Group
Cultivars Crozy, Alipore, Gladiolus or French Dwarf cannas, x generalis. Italian, Iris, Orchid, Burbank, or Giant flowered cannas, x orchiodes.
  Diameter: Medium to large, less than 12.5cm Very large, 12.5cm to 21cm
  Colour: Many Bright yellow to deep red striped or splashed. Not pink or clear white.
  Petals: Narrow, erect or ascending. Reflexed after about the first day.
  Tube: About 1.25cm cm. long, not longer than sepals. About 2.5 cm. or more, much longer than sepals.
  Staminodia: Narrow to broad, mostly erect or strongly upright, well separated in outline. Space between staminodes. Broad and soft with flowing outline, lip funnel-form at the base. Staminodes make a full circle when formally arranged.
  Pollen: 50-80% 40-60%
  Seed: 1-19 seeds per capsule Sterile


Khoshoo, T.N. & Guha, I. – Origin and Evolution of Cultivated Cannas. Vikas Publishing House.