The Crozy Group is a cultivar group where the flower spikes are arranged close together on the stalk and have narrow to medium petals. There is always space between the staminodes when arranged formally, and the labellum (lip) is smaller than the staminodes, and is often twisted or curled.
They are characterised by their dwarf habit, free-flowering qualities, fine spike, brilliant colour, and smooth petals.
The Crozy group Cannas produce flowers that are white/yellow to red, yellow with red spots, or red with yellow that resemble a miniature gladiolus. With their lush tropical foliage and showy flowers they make borders and beds come alive with their bright colours all summer long until the first frosts.
Crozy group Canna tend to be the most cold-hardy of the garden Canna. Although originally a plant of the tropics, most cultivars have been developed in temperate climates and are easy to grow in most countries of the world as long as they can enjoy at least 6 to 8 hours average sunlight during the summer.
Leaf colour in the Crozy Group varies from green to deep maroon. As the flower grows, a good hint will be that if the leaf is more green then the flower will be more yellow. If the leaf is more maroon then the flower will be more red.
These cultivars were once known as ‘French Dwarf’ or ‘gladiolus-flowered’ Canna, due to their resemblance to gladiolus flowers, and in France they were often labelled as ‘floriferous’ canna, or more often as ‘Crozy’ canna. The Royal Horticulture Society in Britain were first referring to them as Crozy-type in the early 1890’s, so the adoption of this name is not new.
In an attempt to formalise naming, Professor L.E. Bailey invented a pseudo-species which he called the x generalis (L.H. Bailey) garden species.
Naming plant types after other flowers and pseudo-species names are now deprecated by the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants and instead it provides Cultivar Groups for categorising cultivars… thus this article.
These and their modern offspring constitute the Crozy group of Canna. The group has provided parents for other groups when either crossed with others or by selective breeding to establish new types.
The founder of this group was Monsieur Antoine Crozy of Lyons, France, who started breeding Cannas as early as 1862, from stock originally developed by Théodore Année, the world’s first Canna hybridizer. M. Crozy introduced hundreds of new Canna cultivars with a wide range of heights and flower colours.