Silver Queen is particularly attractive by reason of a silvery sheen on its blue spikes, which renders it one of the flowers I would always cultivate in a 'Moonlight,' or 'After-Nightfall' district of the garden.
Mauve Queen is exceedingly handsome, showing clearly the result of efforts to increase the importance of Camassias: the star-shaped blossoms are true mauve, and massed on stalwart stems. Both these Queens are three-feet varieties.
Plant bulbs 4 inches deep and 9 inches apart, in any sunny, good border, in October. Mulch over well with cinder-ash and coco-nut-fibre refuse, then draw this aside in February and replace it by old cow-manure. Planted thus Camassias can be left undisturbed for four or five years. It is prudent to lay a little sharp sand under each bulb. They can be grown in large pots, if given cool treatment, and not introduced to any artificial heat until flowers are opening.
No doubt the inclusion of Carinas among half-hardy bulbous plants will be criticized, but I prefer to forget that they are Stove Herbaceous subjects, and remember, instead, how generously they will adorn the summer garden, how first-class a filling they provide for outdoor urns and tubs, how willing they are to submit to mere frame-and-outdoor culture at the hands of admirers who do not own greenhouses, hot or cold. As a matter of fact, in parts of England they may be seen living their whole lives in the open, covered during winter by dry material.
Buy Canna roots in February, if there is heat, otherwise in March, pot one root in each five-inch pot, and transfer to larger ones later, or group several in a huge pot, tub, split barrel, or urn. The temperature may be as high as 750, in which case growth will soon appear, and care must be taken that the compost of loam, old manure, leaf-mould, and sand remains just damp; or it may be as low as 45o, in which case germination will be delayed, therefore 'damping off' must be guarded against. The cold-frame culture should really begin with the aid of a mild hot-bed. When going ahead rapidly Cannas require plenty of water and full sunshine, and may be given bi-weekly doses of any liquid manures as soon as they are handsome foliage plants.
There is no mystery in their culture: they may be planted out in June, or planted at once in February or March, in borders inside well-heated glasshouses, or plunged later in pots in beds. I fed them liberally with Hop Manure one year, and the colours seemed extra gorgeous.
When lifted from the ground, before frosts can threaten, they must be put closely together in boxes of very sandy, pure, preferably baked loam, kept almost dry, in frames, or frost-proof light sheds or rooms where air can be freely supplied, until the next planting or potting season. Culture from seed is simple. The plant is called Indian Shot because the seeds are hard as shot, so they must be soaked, pared, or grated down till the outer husk is either removed or softened. Seed will germinate eventually in a temperature of 60°, but a very high one is needed to hurry matters, and plunging the pans in a hot-bed becomes necessary for this unless they can inhabit a stove. The compost has to be kept moist, therefore glass-sheets over the pans, and light moss above these, if in sunshine, are required.
But the grower of Cannas from seed must not rely on obtaining many, if any, specimens equal to the best named varieties.
Yellow, spotted tenth crimson.
Carmine, tenth dark foliage.
Yellow, with brown spots.
Crimson. Grows to 6 feet.
Gold, with salmon spots.
Scarlet, with gilt edge.
Vermilion. 4 feet.
Vermilion, flushed carmine.
Orange and yellow, with dark leaves and purple stems.
Scarlet, blotched with gold. Dwarf.
Early and free-blooming.
Big Bulbous Plants in Lawns.