Cannas are among the most colorful summer bulbs—as flamboyant as their tropical American ancestry—with ruffled spikes tapering to refined buds.
Sometimes called “canna lilies” these perennials are unrelated to true lilies. They come in a vast variety of color and boast immense, often-veined, paddle-shaped leaves and sheathing leafstalks in shades of green or bronze.
With their great reedy canes and palmy foliage, cannas would be magnificent even if they never bloomed. However, they keep blossoming from late spring or early summer to frost.
Turn-of-the-century gardeners so loved cannas that they grew them from seed, but this isn’t easy; better to leave propagation to experts and buy the tubers.