Canna liliiflora Warsc. ex Planch.
syns. brittoni, Lily Canna, Scented Canna, White Canna
HEIGHT Giant, over 3 metres
FLOWERING Late bloomer
Canna liliiflora Warsc. ex Planch. is a giant species; green foliage, very large, acuminate shaped, spreading habit; spikes of flowers are reflexed, self-coloured white, staminodes are medium size, fully self-cleaning, late bloomer, blooms open in the early morning; fertile both ways, self-pollinating and also true to type; rhizomes are thick, up to 3 cm in diameter, coloured white; tillering is slow.
The name means lily-flowered, a native of Bolivia. Flower 10-13cm. (4-5″) long, honeysuckle-scented. Leaves large, Musa-like, oblong, acuminate. Stems stout, erect. Height 2-3 metres (6-10 feet). The only white species, and the only canna with scent, but very difficult to grow in a temperate climate, only a few documented instances of it being successfully grown outside its native environment.
The illustration is from Flore des serres et des jardins de l’Europe by Charles Lemaire and others. Gent, Louis van Houtte, 1855, volume 10 (plate 1055-1056).
Our earliest reference to this specimen is RHS Journal of 1899-1900.