Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Australia

I realized I didn't know much about Australia, except from what I've gleamed from the 'Crocodile Dundee' movies and Outback Steakhouse restaurants.  Which meant, I only knew that they like to call friends "mate", and that the grill is called "the barbie".

But I know that the canna 'Australia' is a stunner in my summer garden.


The leaves are dark, almost black.  Gorgeous when the sun shines through them.

The flower is a bright red-orange.  It really shines.  You won't overlook it, even though the flowers rise up on a stalk almost 8 ft tall!  Even before it flowers, this canna is a bold 6 ft tall.


Canna 'Australia' loves full sun and is hardy in zones 7 through 11.  It can be used as a marginal planting in a pond. Wouldn't that be a beautiful sight?

And if you're in a zone colder than 7, you might want to use cannas as a potted plant.  Even if you're in a warm zone you might want to do this, as it gives a very dramatic effect.


Cannas are native to North and South America, not Australia.

But it made me wonder about Australia (the country) anyway.


Did you know that there is a town in Australia named Canna?  In 2006 it had a population of 81.

The island of Tasmania is a part of Australia.  The Tasmanian devil is the world's largest carnivorous marsupial.  Other famous marsupials of Australia are the kangaroo and the koala.

Koalas have fingerprints that are similar to a human's!  They also have brains that have shrunken to taking up only about 60% of its cranial cavity (the rest is filled with fluid).

The national gemstone of Australia is the opal.  Although more than 90% of the world's opals are produced in Australia, opals are found in numerous other countries, and NASA says they are even found on Mars!


So, Australia is wonderfully unique.  Just like the canna 'Australia'.


And in case you're wondering the facts on Australia all came from Wikipedia, not from a movie or a restaurant.  

36 comments:

  1. Gorgeous "Australia"! I love canna and I plant it in a container and then put the container in the pond water. I have to move it to my home in winter.

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    1. I bet it is gorgeous and dramatic in the pond! Such dedication, too, to have to move it inside each winter.

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  2. I hadn't come across cannas until I moved here--they weren't big features of zone 4 Vermont gardens, even in pots... I actually found them kind of hard to get used to, but really like the way you've integrated 'Australia' into your garden. It's wonderfully striking across the path from the red roses!

    It's hard to picture Tasmanian devils without Looney Tunes coming to mind!

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    1. I think people either love their big, tropical leaves, or hate them. I love their foliage, even though I've heard they're not proper for a true rose garden! To me, that's silly! Obviously a 'rule' written by someone outside their range! :)

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  3. I came to look at your latest beautiful photos and left with a head full of Australian knowledge...well worth the visit! xx

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    1. I enjoyed learning more about Australia, too!

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  4. the leaves are certainly magnificent. My jury is still out on cannas, but there is another with flamboyantly striped leaves singing a siren song to me.

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    1. Oh, yes, I've seen that canna in pictures. I would love to have it in my garden, just not sure where to put it! I hope you'll add it to your garden, Diana. I bet you'd love it!

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  5. I like the way you are using canna in your lovely garden. It seems to add a bit of drama. Good choice! I just read an article in Smithsonian that said the Tasmanian Devil population has been reduced by 80% in Tasmania due to a contagious cancer...so sad!

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    1. Yes, I read about that cancer, too. So sad. I hope they can find a cure. It would be sad to lose such an interesting creature.

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  6. I did not know these Australian facts. Nice to learn something in addition to the pretty images of your Canna. I do like that particular variety too.

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    1. I like these dark leaves. They really stand out, even without that flamboyant red-orange bloom!

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  7. I tried growing Cannas a few years ago. Our UK summers weren't quite long enough to get many flowers, but now I don't think our UK summer would produce any blooms at all. Shame, they are lovely plants.

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    1. I guess that's why I don't usually see them in English gardens. I have often wondered why, thanks for telling me!

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  8. Fantastic post Holley! It was only last week that I was thinking about whether to get a Canna 'Australia' or not, opted not to but after reading your post I thought I ought to. It's a gorgeous plant and I must give in to temptation :)

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  9. Have to admit that is a beautiful Canna. I finally lost mine. They would over winter outside on one side of my house but pulled them and with storage apparently didn't do it right. :)

    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Oh, I would hate to have to dig them up and store them every winter. I guess that's why most northerners put them in pots, or treat them as annuals.

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  10. Interestingly, Canna Australia is also the name of a company that makes plant nutrients and growing mediums for hydroponics.I know this because I tried to find this plant by searching Australian websites. It is ironic that we don't seem to be able to buy it in Australia at all, although Canna 'Tropicanna Black' is similar and available here. It looks great in your garden, Holley. I think Cannas are worth growing for foliage even in areas they won't flower. They look so lush and tropical and full of life, but will grow in non-tropical regions.

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    1. Now, that is odd that you can't buy Australia in Australia! And yes, I think they're worth growing for the foliage, even if it never blooms.

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  11. I have some kind of passalong canna with similar leaves but insignificant flowers. I also like to use it as a punctuation mark for its large, dark leaves. But do you get canna leaf rollers on yours? What do you do about it? Anything? I generally don't do much except cut them down when they get really bad. (Once I found a family of downy woodpeckers getting rid of them for me!) But it seems like they have started to look pretty bad earlier in the year the last few years.

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    1. I have not found those on my cannas yet (knock on wood). I am not sure what I would do if I did. Oh, the frustrations us gardeners have to go through!!!

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  12. Your canna is beautiful, I love its leaves mostly.
    I am so impressed about koala's brain though... You tell me they have a kind of canned brain, like your canned carrot chunks? I wonder what liquid the brain is kept on. Need more research.

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    1. Yes, their brain just sort of floats around in juice - very much like the carrot chunks! haha

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  13. Your pictures are lovely. The Canna really adds drama to the garden. Thanks for all the additional info on Australia.

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    1. I wish I knew more about Australia, but I thought those facts quite interesting!

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  14. How beautiful. I love the dark foliage with the bright red blooms. Gorgeous.

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    1. I loved seeing this bright red bloom on top of that dark foliage, too. Quite a nice surprise!

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  15. Awesome canna - I just love the deep leaf color! It looks metallic.

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    1. I love how the leaf color changes with the way the light hits it. It's always interesting.

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  16. Interesting connection with Oz. Cannas are often used in formal plantings here in our parks and squares. Took me a while to adapt to their 'exoticness' but now am quite envious of gardeners who have the kind of sunny spots these lovely 'lilies' love. Superb light through the foliage image.

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    1. I never would have thought of cannas in a formal planting. But I bet they are beautiful and stunning that way!

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  17. Your garden looks so lush and beautiful. Cannas are not hardy here and I'm not one for digging them up and storing the bulbs/corms (?) every year. Great choice! Your photos almost make me consider storing them. :)

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    1. If I didn't live where I could leave them in the ground, I wouldn't dig them up and store them, either. I'm just lazy like that!

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  18. Fun post Holley...always keep me informed. I have never had much luck with canna. Not hardy here and with our changeable weather I seem to start them too late...love them though

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    1. I think they love heat. I guess that's why they do so well here! I wouldn't fight for them if I had a cooler garden. Every garden has different plants for their own climate - I think that's part of what makes gardening so interesting.

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