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Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

Posted by dragonfly_wings (My Page) on
Sat, May 23, 09 at 22:52

This one is a real beauty! The deep, richly colored variegated foliage makes a delicious backdrop for the vibrant orange blooms. It has become my new favorite variegated canna, although the 'Pretoria' (or 'Bengal Tiger') is a very close second.

Closeup of the foliage:
http://images.mooseyscountrygarden.com/mooseys-garden-tour/hen-house-garden/canna-tropicana-lilly.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful: Canna Tropicana website


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

Its one of my favorites too. Even when its not in bloom its great to look at, and you get blooms on it until first frost. One of the best, most reliable bloomers, but they need lots of sun and water for best growth.


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

You should get Pink Sunburst.


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

I have this canna also. It definitely is a fav.

I went to a nursery to pick mine up and paid a high price; which I'm not com,plaining about. I see them for sale in lots of big box garden centres and seasonal garden centres. What I am unhappy about is that they are all virused severly. They have the Tropicanna company tag on them so I'm wondering why they are selling virused cannas.

I tooka few pics on my phone and once I get them onto my computer, I'm going to contact the company and see if they are aware of the problem. I haven't seen any healthy ones other than at the high end nursery. They have someone privately growing Tropicanna for them.

I also have Pink Sunburst and love the foliage. Not sure if the bloom is as nice as Tropicanna. Haven't seen Black Tropicanna here.


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

struwwelpeter.
Nice foliage on the Pink Sunburst. In fact very similar to the Tropicana. However I just have a preference for the orange blooms. I have a red/orange/yellow color scheme in my garden with the occasional purple for contrast.

greenthumbguy,
Hmm...I haven't yet seen the Tropicana here in Texas at the big box stores so can't comment about the virus issues. I first saw and bought mine at a higher end nursery in a 5 gallon container. The plant was about 2 feet tall with several stalks. It was healthy, beautiful and large enough to divide. So I actually got several plants in the deal and am very happy with the color against my brown brick house.

Let us know what the Tropicana folks say about the virused canna.


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

Have Durban? Here are all three in one bed:


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

Wow! Very nice!

Thanks for introducing me to the Durbin. To tell you the truth, I can't tell which is which in your photo they are all so similar. What is the primary difference between the Durbin and Tropicana?


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

The Durbans are the ones with red flowers in back. They are slightly less variegated than Tropicanna, but still hard to tell apart from foliage alone. In England, the names "Durban" and "Phason" are exchanged.


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

I just want to jump in that bed and roll around.

Simply beautiful.

I haven't seen Durban - at least I don't think so.

Great job!


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

I tried e-mailing the person at the link at the top of this thread. Didn't receive a reply and then I noticed that it is not the official Tropicanna website. So, I contacted the company with the rights to Tropicanna.

Received a quick response.

Thanks for your email

And I’ve copied Cary Van Zanten on this email an his Company, Pan American Nursery is the major distributor in Canada for Tropicanna.

I will agree that some of this old stock should have been dumped—our growers here in the US did just that.

We have clean stock now, ex Israel that is performing wonderfully.

The virus in cannas is a whole genus problem, not just a problem on Tropicanna

We’ve spent a ton of money cleaning up the stocks of Tropicanna, Tropicanna Gold and Tropicanna Black so I don’t believe you’ll see this issue in the future as Pan American is working only with this clean stock now

Anthony Tesselaar USA, inc.
**********************

I certainly hope they are right. I think it's great that the company is trying to correct the problem.

As for other canna varieties, since no owns the rights, it seems no one is going to take ownership of the problem. Hopefully, there is lots going on behind the scenes with the major growers to grow healthy stock.

Just wanted to share this with you all.


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

Did they rename "Pretoria" to "Tropicanna Gold?" If so, how dare they? Pretoria is in the public domain. There must be a law against this.


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

Before the ‘Pretoria’ vs. ‘Tropicanna Gold’ issue gets started in regard to their obvious similarity; please take the time to closely examine the "color" of the calyx or sepal (the leaf like covering holding the bloom).
On ‘Pretoria’ (‘Bengal Tiger’) this entire covering is colored red with a glaucous coating. This characteristic is identical to the color of the calyx of ‘Tropicanna’ and ‘Durban’. ‘Tropicanna Gold’ is quite different as its calyx is green with a glaucous coating. Look closely at the excellent photos posted above and compare to a true photo of ‘Pretoria’. The difference is quite obvious if you know what to look for. The cultivar ‘Tropicanna Gold’ is separate and distinct from ‘Pretoria’. The bloom color is also somewhat different as ‘Pretoria’ is basically orange (like ‘Tropicanna’) while ‘Tropicanna Gold’ has a bit of pale yellow blotching in its bloom.
Hope this is helpful.
Regards,
Kent


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

Canna2Grow,

Since gardeners rarely care about barely noticeable differences in coloration, what are the advantages of Tropicanna Gold over Pretoria to a gardener? Is it a more vigorous grower or larger (which would be surprising because Pretoria is more vigorous and larger than Tropicanna)? Does it produce seed (like Sunburst and unlike Pretoria)? Is it cold hardy in zone 5 (unlike any of other variegated canna)?


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

Stuwwelpeter,

If one is only interested in growing a canna cultivar such as ‘Pretoria’ for the foliage effect, there is little advantage to spending time or money to acquire one or the other. They are both vigorous growers, seed sterile and both winter-store much the same.

I would like to think that most gardeners not only grow plants for an effect but they receive enjoyment from learning about the plants they grow, improve their growing skills and acquire more knowledge from growing their plants. Growing similar plants for comparison is one way of teaching oneself and forming one’s own opinion of different plants in their personal growing situation.

Forums such as this allow us to exchange information, give and receive opinions but until we trial that information for ourselves we may never really know!

Regards,
Kent


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

"They are both vigorous growers, seed sterile and both winter-store much the same.

I would like to think that most gardeners not only grow plants for an effect but they receive enjoyment from learning about the plants they grow, improve their growing skills and acquire more knowledge from growing their plants."

Have you seen Pretoria produce seed? Or, does "seed sterile" have an obscure definition of which I am not aware? I have grown Pretoria for over 20 years and have never seen it produce a single seed, sterile or not.


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

Your "seed sterile" question is fair but requires I give you my experience growing Pretoria. I am curious to know your source of Pretoria dating back over 20 years ago. To the best of my knowledge, in North America there was only one source for C. ‘Pretoria’. This of course discounts anyone buying from that source and providing someone offspring. Because the cost at that time was extremely high the limited production went to collectors or botanical gardens. ‘Pretoria’ did not become somewhat available to the general public until the latter 90’s. That’s where I came into the picture. In 1993 I purchased 2000 rhizomes from this source and proceeded to begin commercial production. By the end of the 1990’s I was producing somewhere between 100 and 200 thousand saleable rhizomes at a cost the typical gardener could hopefully afford. I only make this statement to show that I have likely observed more ‘Pretoria’ than almost anyone in North America.
Of the thousands and thousands of Pretoria plants observed, I have only seen three mature seed pods that contained "one" seed. Of course, when one has a few acres of one cultivar it is very likely there may have been others not seen. We were unsuccessful in germinating this seed.
I am aware of only one or two other breeders claiming to see seed produced. A few breeders have attempted to use pollen from Pretoria in their pollination efforts. Most have concluded it had very, very low viability, but can on rare occasions produce fertilization. I am not necessarily convinced of this. I know of no one who has successfully grown seed form Pretoria. This above information explains my use of "seed sterile" but does not totally rule out the possibility of the pollen having limited viability.
By the way, was the above photo of ‘Pretoria’, ‘Pink Sunburst’ and ‘Durban’ taken recently and what was your source for ‘Durban’?
Regards,
Kent


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

1. There are no Pretoria in my photo.

2. The variegated leaves of these cannas resemble those of certain heliconia cultivars introduced from the South Sea Islands around 1880. Pretoria resembles Heliconia Striata. Tropicanna resembles Heliconia Rubricaulis. See picture below. Stuttgart resembles Heliconia Bangkok.

3. My memory is hazy with regard to the exact time and source, but I suspect that I got Pretoria from a heliconia collector or seller in Florida.

4. I strongly suspect that such variegations are caused by the plants being chimeras which, if true, implies that the leaf variegation can not be inherited by seed progeny nor can the plants be cloned from a single cell.

Heliconia Rubricaulis:


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My Canna Pretoria Source

I looked through my old catalogs and found it offered as "CANNA GENERALIS STRIATUS Variegated Canna with orange flowers ... $10.00" in the 1991 summer price list of

The Bromeliad Tree
John and Cindy Laroche, Tropical Plants
P.O. Box 694487
Miami, Florida 33269
(305) 651-4687

which is probably where I got it. (Okay, I have been growing it for only 18 years.)


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

"By the way, was the above photo of ‘Pretoria’, ‘Pink Sunburst’ and ‘Durban’ taken recently and what was your source for ‘Durban’? "

Pink Sunburst - Stokes Tropicals

Durban - I remember getting two rhizomes from two different sources at the same time. One was in trade for Pink Sunburst from somebody in this forum, maybe, 7 years ago and I bought the other from somewhere I don't remember. I do remember that the Glasshouse Works offered it for $50 in 2000, but there is no way I would ever pay $50.

Incidentally, Glasshouse Works offered another variegated canna, Canna Generalis Munchkin for $50.


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

Thanks for your follow ups. My reference to the photo of Pretoria was my bad. You may already know the following but for the sake of others I might mention that C. ‘Pretoria’ was originally offered in the states by Herb Kelly of Kelly’s Plant World in California. He received his original start from a plant collector while on a trip to South Africa. The same can be said for C. ‘Durban’. I will point out that Glasshouse Works began offering C. ‘Bengal Tiger’ which they imported from India. As most now know both cultivars are one and the same. The actual origin of this cultivar is likely India (for the present time).

You mentioned C. ‘Munchkin’ sold by Glasshouse Works. I believe this is the same cultivar that Dr. James Waddick discovered growing in a Kansas City nursery. It was briefly sold as C. ‘Kansas City’. If I have the whole story straight the valid name for this cultivar would be C. ‘Kansas City’.

Your C. ‘Pink Sunburst’ likely came from stock I supplied to Glenn at Stokes’ Tropicals. My stock came from Plant Delight Nursery who acquired it from South Africa.

Your comparison of heliconia to some cannas is dead on. I know very little about them, but while visiting nurseries and retail garden centers, I have had to do a double take upon first glimpse of them in containers. They do have beautiful foliage that might easily be confused with cannas.

Somewhere along the line, I think we have gotten away from the original thread, but the information has been useful.

Kent Kelly


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

"Your comparison of heliconia to some cannas is dead on."

To correct a mistake, I should have said that Canna Pretoria resembles "Heliconia Aureo Striata."

Both canna and heliconia are in the banana family, but, to my knowledge, there are no banana plants with striped variegation of this kind. I was trying to make a point that, in both canna and heliconia, there is substantial but inconclusive evidence that variegations with these appearances are caused by chimerism. A large commercial grower should do DNA testing for chimerism before attempting sexual reproduction or single cell cloning of such variegated canna.

Personally, I would like to have psychological closure on the matter of chimerism in canna and heliconia. So, what do you know about chimerism in these canna?


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

As I stated earlier, I know very little about Heliconia, but I do have information on cannas. Some excellent information was published back in the late 1960’s by Dr. Ivan Mukherjee and Dr. T. N. Khoshoo of the National Botanic Gardens, Lucknow, India. Dr. Khoshoo published several articles including "Evolution of Garden Cannas" and "Genetic Evolutionary Studies—IV: Parallelism Between Natural and Induced Somatic Mutation" as well as others. In some of these publications, he dealt with the chimera issue in canna to a degree.

As you know, not all cannas (or plants) with stripes are chimers. (One can "goggle" this word and find an adequate description)

A few years back when the canna virus became a serious issue, many of us looked to tissue culture (TC) for a solution. Canna cultivars such as ‘Pretoria’, ‘Tropicanna’ and a few others were determined to be chimers. More importantly, they are perceived to be a stable periclinal chimera. Some of our TC labs are now successfully producing healthy chimera plants. I am not an expert in this field and can only report findings of what has been achieved.

The Garden Web format is not the best place to have a in-depth discussion on these technical issues, if you care to send me a private mail I will gladly respond.

Kent Kelly


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

"Canna cultivars such as ‘Pretoria’, ‘Tropicanna’ and a few others were determined to be chimers."

Thank you.

"The Garden Web format is not the best place to have a in-depth discussion on these technical issues, if you care to send me a private mail I will gladly respond."

I prefer to exchange information in public forums where that information is available to anyone interested enough to do a Google search. Would you prefer a UseNet forum?

I don't know that not all cannas with chlorophyll-less stripes are chimeras. Can you name one canna with chlorophyll-less stripes that isn't a chimera?


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

C. 'Bangkok', C. 'Bangkok Yellow', C. 'Bankocki', C. 'Bankok', C. 'Christ's Light', C. 'King of Siam', C. 'Minerva', C. 'Nirvana', C. 'Striped Beauty (2)', C. 'Striped Beauty of Bangkok', C. 'Stripped Beauty', C. 'Variegated', C. 'Zebra Stripe':
All the above are synonyms for C. ‘Trinacria Variegata’.
Dr. Khoshoo stated that this was not a chimeral mutation. The earliest reference is C. 'Trinacria Variegata' The earliest reference is C. 'Trinacria Variegata' in Sydney Percy-Lancaster's book, "An Amateur in an Indian Garden", 1927.
You may wish to check Claines Canna in the UK. http://www.clainescanna.co.uk/
If you wish to discuss this type of information or simply search topics relative to somewhat more technical information as above I suggest you investigate the canna group on Yahoo Canna Forum:
A great deal of recently digitized historic journals is now available off the web, allowing for the older journals to be easily accessed.
Kent


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

"C. 'Bangkok', C. 'Bangkok Yellow', C. 'Bankocki', C. 'Bankok', C. 'Christ's Light', C. 'King of Siam', C. 'Minerva', C. 'Nirvana', C. 'Striped Beauty (2)', C. 'Striped Beauty of Bangkok', C. 'Stripped Beauty', C. 'Variegated', C. 'Zebra Stripe':"

Thank you. I used to grow it but gave it up because the flowers are very flaccid, likely to fall off, and the plant is not a vigorous grower. I don't recall seeing it produce seeds either.


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

You obviously know a great deal about your cannas. In the US, C. ‘Striped Beauty’ is the synonym most often used for this cultivar and is classified as an "Italian" type variety. Basically this means that it is a result of flaccida heritage. It is considered to be seed sterile and have low pollen fertility as you have observed. This is typical of many flaccida offspring. The big positive with the use of flaccida crosses was the dramatic improvement in the bloom size. A great many of our present day large flowering hybrids owes their genetics to flaccida. The ploidy level of flaccida, as well as the sterility problems, apparently contributes to the difficulty in making successful crosses.
Regards,
Kent Kelly


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

I appreciate that you both have kept the conversation in the thread. I know nothing of the history or relations.

I'm learning lots.

Thanks Guys!

Currently, I'm in Kentucky and visited the Cinci Zoo. Saw virused Tropicanna in their beds. Saw the most gorgeous Canna Australia - in bloom. Also another canna I don't know.
I'll post some pics when I'm home in a couple days.


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

After reading all of the above posts on Canna Tropicana I have decided I am going to sound like a complete moron but am going to take a chance anyway with my questions because I need information. I bought my first plant this spring from Home Depot for a large full sun container in zone 5. One shoot grew and flowered. When the flower was dead nubby "pods" formed. A storm broke that stalk with the pods off and we have gotten no flowers since. Could someone please tell me should it flower repeatedly and did I do something wrong that it hasn't? Also, what were the pods and should I have done something with them?

Thank you!
Lora


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RE: Canna Tropicana - an exotic beauty with variegated foliage

There should be new shoots coming. Continue to water and fertilizer. If you got your plant at Home Depot, chances are it is infected with virus, which also diminishes flowering.


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