Théodore Année – the first Canna hybridist

Théodore Année, a wealthy, retired French diplomatic consul in South America, returned to France in the mid 1840’s and settled in rue des Réservoirs, Passy, Paris, where he devoted himself to the culture of tropical plants from South America, having brought back with him the taste for plants with beautiful foliage, especially the Canna genus. … Read more

The Life of Karl Sprenger

In an article delivered to the International Dendrology Society by By Councilor Bern. Sprenger, the writer described the life of his cousin Karl Sprenger. Karl Sprenger was the creator of what we now call the Italian Group of Cannas. As an early orphaned child, Karl Sprenger spent his early youth among flowers and fruit trees, … Read more

Canna Leaf Shapes

The overall shapes of canna leaves are characteristic of the genus, and together with reproductive features, are used in plant identification. To assess the shape of a leaf, one examines the outline formed by the apex, margin, and base of the leaf. Cannas always have smooth margins, i.e. no teeth or lobes along its margin. There … Read more

What’s in a name?

What is in a name? When playwright William Shakespeare asked the question, “What’s in a name?” in Romeo and Juliet, he was referring to the idea that names themselves are a convention to distinguish things or people, but themselves do not have any worth or meaning. A rose if called something entirely different, would still smell … Read more

Canna naming chaos

There are serious problems in canna nomenclature which would seem to be intractable. A long time ago I realised that I can do no more than sharing my database containing details of over 3.000 varieties, to assist in responsible naming. This seems to have largely been ignored. Species Nomenclature The first frustrating problem is that … Read more

All is safely gathered in

Autumn 2023, 398 pots of canna. At last the job is complete, and 398 pots of canna are under cover, their foliage was nipped by the frosts, and now has been reduced to handle size.  We are planning a rest over the winter period, and work will start again late February as we split the … Read more