07 July 2006



Cannas are an oft-abused plant that people love to hate. But now that even the ladies at Garden Rants have been forced to admit that there are no bad plants, just bad people, cannas deserve another look.

The striated leaves are the best feature. I am often enraged by the mania for variegation, but I just love the undulating parallel lines here. Of course, you can have too much of a good thing, and cannas' admirable variability has lead breeders to their share of abominations. The plants at left, in my neighbors' yard, have nice subtle stripes.

The flowers are actually pretty cool, especially some of the intense red ones, but they combine the worst featues of hybrid Iris (big and floppy) and Gladiolus (spent brown flowers linger on the spike before the top ones even open). Some cultivars may be better than others in this regard.

The objection that cannas are too common is just snobbish. But there is something about the heavy use of such self-consciously "tropical" plants in our semi-arid climate that bothers me. A little tropical goes a long way. Luckily, depending on my mood, I can either admire or sneer at these plants in my neighbors' yard without having to decide if I like them enough to plant in my own.


Oh yeah: pomegranate flowers:


Blogger Carol said...

You've got some plants going on in zone 9 that I could only dream about in zone 5. I love the caption "Oh yeah: pomegranate flowers", as though no big deal. Would be a big deal 'round these parts!

7/07/2006 8:25 PM  

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