Strange Flowers on Canna

naturenut_2006November 12, 2006

Pleeese tell me why the flowers on my Canna are unlike any I have EVER seen on a Canna. They are about 1/4 the normal size and look completely different from a normal Canna flower. Everything else looks like the Canna plant,the leaves, height, etc. but the flower petals are spikey, pointed upward, & tight together. Does anyone know what I have here? Someone told me that the seed pods open up next into the real flower, but I planted them late (June) so never got to see if they did before the frost & had to dig them up for winter. The bulbs multiplied to so many but I don't want to re-plant them this summer if all I get are these tiny strange "flowers". These are my first Cannas.

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Canna Indica?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 4:54PM
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Is it possible that the flowers just did not open. It sounds like from your description what they look like just as they are set to open up. I would leave them and see if they flower next summer. How much sun do they get? Is june the earliest you can plant them out? if so can you start them early indoors? Might not have had enough of a growing season? the seed pods develop after blooming is finished. The flowers grow out of the end of a stalk about 6" to a foot plus inches above the tallest leaves. they start out just as you descibed them and then open into the flowers you were hoping for!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 8:53PM
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These little flowers never opened any further, lived their lives & died, then came the seed pods so that must be all the blooming they were going to do. If I had them earlier I would have planted them then, but I got the bulbs in June so planted them at that time. How long of a growing season do they need? Most did get plenty of sun, the ones in the shorter sun exposed areas grew the same flowers as the ones in the really sunny areas.
Quicksilver's response thinking they might be Canna Indica makes me wonder, is it possible that those are what I have? I've never seen those. Where can I find a picture of the Indica? That could help me get to the root of it all. (no pun intended)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 6:53PM
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have a look at this pic. the bottom flower is opening, but the others have not yet, is this what yours looked like? google canna indica, for pics. All canna flowers I have seen start like this. I am no expert, but something was lacking that kept them from opening. I thought it might have to do with the lateish start they got, not being planted until June, were they already plants, or were you planting rhizomes? Before the first frost I had some stalks that had not opened, looked just like this, they died before having a chance to go to seed. Our summers are coolish being on the coast, mine bloomed in late summer August/September. I would try to plant them earlier and see if they can produce for you before giving up. Besides the plants themselves are gorgeous, flowers are really just a bonus in my books!

Here is a link that might be useful: unopened canna example

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 7:55PM
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Yes, that is exactly what mine looked like. Thank you for turning my description into a picture! Most of them did open and looked like the bottom flower in the picture. But as pretty as they were I thought Canna flowers were supposed to be much bigger, with more rounded petals. So do I have the wrong kind maybe? I did plant rhizomes & was amazed at how they multiplied in the short time I grew them, starting as late as I did.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 9:56AM
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Could be the variety, not all are huge bloomers. have a look on line, google has a image search funtion and if you type in canna it will bring up tonnes of pics. from that you can see some of the varieties that produce the flowers you are hoping for! I grow them more for the foliage so I really cannot recommend any great bloomers for you!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 6:25PM
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Not to beat a dead horse here, especially in light of the fact I don't even have one year of canna gardening under my belt but............ I believe the link provided by andypython is a photo of the Canna Indica. Personally I don't like the way they look. Compared to other varieties the blooms are small and short lived. I planted four packages of rhizomes last summer. I bought Presidents @ HD, Stuggarts(?), and a mystery assortment @ Wallyworld. The Presidents came up true to form. The package of Stuggarts was a really interesting experience. I ended up with three totally different species. Seven were short with bronze foliage and salmon colored bloom. Two were tall with green foliage and yellow blooms. The last two or three plants were tall with green foliage and yellow and orange blooms. The assorted mix of rhizomes had a couple of the Indica.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 11:17AM
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I did look up canna indica on Google for more pics & I believe thats what I have. The rhizomes were given to me by a friend of a friend so I never got any background on them & I assumed all canna flowers looked the same, much larger than mine. So although I am a little dissappointed that I don't have the large beauties, this year I will use the indica more for a border-type plant. I am definitely more hooked on cannas than ever now, so I will pursue finding the larger blooms whose names I got from Google, and plant those also! Thanks for your input. I'm under the impression that the rhizomes for Canna are hard to come by, is tht true?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 8:54PM
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Canna rhizomes are avaiable in Massachusetts stores in the spring and summer. I bought mine at Home Depot and Walmart. They are also avaiable online and even on ebay.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 8:13PM
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Some reasons I asked if the rhizomes are hard to get is in the Garden Forum some members were offering to pay s&h to other members for their rhizomes that didn't want their Cannas any longer & also some websites were sold out. So I didn't think local stores would have something as "exotic". Great, thanks, I will be at those stores first thing this Spring but in the meantime I will keep searching on-line and e-bay. Can't wait to get the "big beauties!"

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 11:47AM
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wolflover(z7 OK)

I wanted to warn you that often times the cannas you buy at WalMart and the big box stores will be incorrectly named. If you are looking for a specific color or type, you'd be better off ordering them online, or trading here on GW. EBay would be good too. Also, so many cannas I see at WalMart and the box stores have canna virus, so I suggest you buy cannas that are already growing so you can see the foliage and make sure they are not diseased.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 8:26PM
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To Wolflover:
Thanks for that info., I will order on-line. Just saw some really pretty ones there. If I order them now for Spring, will the rhizomes try to start growing over the winter? I don't want to wait too close to Spring to order because last year alot were sold out on-line by then.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 9:04AM
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