Canna ‘Madeira’


Photoghraph courtesy of Malcolm McFarland

A medium sized cultivar; green foliage, oval shaped, white margin, branching habit; spikes of flowers are open, red with a narrow gold margin, staminodes are medium size, fully self-cleaning, good bloomer; fertile both ways, not self-pollinating or true to type, capsules globose; rhizomes are thick, up to 3 cm in diameter, coloured white and purple; tillering is prolific.
One of the Island Series, in total there are: C. ‘Corsica’, C. ‘Gran Canaria’, C. ‘Kreta’, and C. ‘Madeira’. It is said that they were originally propagated as meristem cultures and distributed as small plugs, but apparently Canna does not lend itself easily to that form of culture and they have been removed from widespread commercial production.
What confuses me is that in his Canna book Ian Cooke refers to this specimen as being deep pinkish red, but the ones being sold nowadays are a bold red. I have heard it mooted that the Island series was a marketing exercise and consists of many of the older varieties from years gone by. Certainly, C. ‘Maderia’ bears a strong resemblance to C. ‘Madame Crozy’, which we were fortunate enough to acquire some years ago.

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