Once the favourite garden flower of both Europe and the USA, Cannas are making a much-welcomed come-back in popularity. In the end, the appeal of the banana-like foliage topped with large, bright and sometimes gaudy flowers that last from the summer through until the frosts cannot be equalled by any other garden plant. They tolerate neglect, drought, and share their natural environment with alligators, but always respond generously to extra care. For lazy gardeners – and busy people with little time to waste – cannas cannot be equalled to provide glamour and style to gardens of all sizes.
Their variability is astounding. Their height can be anything from 40 centimetres (18 inches) to 5 metres (16 feet). The flowers come in every shade and colour, except true blue, and their banana-like foliage ranges from white through to almost black, with a range of variegation that can be astounding.
The last century has seen both declines in popularity and periods when it has been the darling of gardeners. Much admired by Gertrude Jekyll and used extensively as centre-piece stars in her much acclaimed gardens, the canna has so much to offer the adventurous gardener, and will return a little care and attention with a garden show that is unequalled by any other variety.
The editor has collected and grown Cannas for several decades, has bred and registered many new cultivars and researched the long-lost history of cannas with the passion that only devotees can afford.
This work details cannas that are widely available throughout the world, as well as those that are rare, and found only in collections and botanical gardens. I hope that this specialist encyclopaedia will help you to share my passion for this most beautiful of flowers.