You’ll see them in older gardens, botanic reserves and even local parks, and from afar they’re always a blaze of colour in flower. It’s the humble canna lily.
The most popular ranges today are varieties of Canna x generalis. Although they're sold as canna lily’s they're not a true lily as such. Hybridising started way back in the 1800’s and has continued ever since.
I guess cannas do have a bit of a reputation for taking over a garden. They're what’s known as rhizomatous, which means they have modified stems that cleverly run under the ground to form clumps. Sometimes many meters from the original small clump you planted, so keep this in mind for choosing a spot.
They flower for around 8 months of the year and tolerate drought and water logged soils. Just cut them back hard after flowering slows down during winter.
Check out these fabulous colours and forms I came across on the website listed below, if I had a larger garden myself I would have planted masses of them! ‘Odinrae’ has deep purple leaves with mid pink flowers; ‘Anjee’ is a strong salmon pick dotted with cream; the variegated ‘Stuttgart’ has delicate apricot blooms; ’Colibri’ has soft lemon petals dotted with salmon; whilst ‘Furst Reid’ is a strong red multi-flowering plant.