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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Canna Tropicanna Black: New for 2011

Posted by Graham Rice on 03 Feb 2011 at 03:04 PM

Canna,Tropicanna,black,Lon01. Image ©Anthony Tesselaar Plants Pty. LtdIn recent years, and especially since the Rose Garden at Great Dixter was transformed into a Subtropical Garden with such panache, cannas have become more popular. Their crucial role at Dixter has brought them into the mainstream and their vivid colouring is now seen in many gardens. They’re colourful, they’re dramatic, they’re easy to grow – and are now in demand both for their foliage and their flowers.

The latest on the scene is Canna Tropicanna Black (‘Lon01') (above, click to enlarge). It has two special features. The broad foliage is very dark, a deep purple bronze blended with black and with red highlights in the stems and veins. It quickly makes an impact. Then in summer and autumn the broad-petalled flowers appear in a vivid scarlet, developing more orange tones as they mature, and they’re set off so well by the dark leaves. It’s a great combination.

Grow Tropicanna Black in seasonal subtropical style summer plantings, or well-chosen sites in mixed and perennial borders, or in large containers. Good companions include dahlias, taller nicotianas, coleus and Coloropsis Series coreopsis.

Usually treated like dahlias, the rhizomes are dug up in the autumn and stored for the following year, in milder areas Tropicanna Black may survive average winters, especially if mulched deeply.

Canna Tropicanna Black will be available this season in Homebase, B&Q, and a wide range of garden centres. It’s also available from mail order suppliers including Longacres, and Plant Me Now.


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