Thai Sunray Canna

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livingplanet3
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Thai Sunray Canna

Post by livingplanet3 »

Thai Sunray, a new (to me) Canna variety that I've pre-ordered for planting next year -

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It's unusually cold here in North TX right now - it hasn't gone above about 15 F (-9 C) today, and there are at least three more similarly cold nights ahead, before finally reaching above freezing sometime on Wed. I have all of my current Cannas (now cut back to the ground) covered in 5-gallon buckets - I really hope this will be enough to keep the roots viable. Further north, Canna roots generally need to be dug up and stored indoors over the winter to ensure survival, but here, they usually seem to survive the occasional hard freezes.

Also, I'm planning to start working with some Lantana varieties this year, including Lantana camara -

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Lantata is a major butterfly attractant, and continues to bloom so long as the weather is reasonably warm. It's also quite resistant to heat and drought, which is essential for any outdoor plant across most of TX. I've been growing various varieties of butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) in recent years, but unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be very tolerant of intense heat, drought, or hard freezes. Hopefully, Lantata will prove to be a good replacement.
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Panacanthus
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by Panacanthus »

Lantana is everywhere here in the Phoenix area - it can definitely take the most brutal heat and sun, with only moderate watering!

The new Canna is stunning!
“Seems to me the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” -David Attenborough
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by Chuck »

We have to bring our Canna indoors for six months, but even then I've lost them because they dry out, or stay too wet, or whatever. Thus, as much as I love them I've quit. And in spring they're $10 for a small plant, so figure to look nice it's $50 plus. Oh well.

I'm going to try Lantana this summer. I wonder how it does in wet? We never know what we'll get...most years it's water the plants every morning, in 2023 we lost most plants because it rained virtually every day.
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by kevinkk »

Those are nice. I grow flowers here on the Oregon coast as well, we typically stick with the natives from the local nursery, while it is
cold now- 26f this morning, it never lasts long, only just long enough to kill off anything weak or that I took a chance on.
The real threat are the forest goats, also known as Whitetail deer, they can decimate my expensive cultivars in a few minutes,
I have some nice Lupine cultivars that usually come back every year, although last year they were animal salad.
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by Trehopr1 »

Ha, Ha, Ha, 😂 --- I love that moniker kevinkk - "forest goats" !

I never thought of it that way but, you're absolutely right.

So, what moniker do you apply to rabbits ?
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by livingplanet3 »

Panacanthus wrote: Mon Jan 15, 2024 5:13 am Lantana is everywhere here in the Phoenix area - it can definitely take the most brutal heat and sun, with only moderate watering!...
Very common throughout TX as well, including a native species, Lantana urticoides, that has red/orange/yellow flowers -

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Chuck wrote: Mon Jan 15, 2024 1:22 pm We have to bring our Canna indoors for six months, but even then I've lost them because they dry out, or stay too wet, or whatever. Thus, as much as I love them I've quit. And in spring they're $10 for a small plant, so figure to look nice it's $50 plus. Oh well.

I'm going to try Lantana this summer. I wonder how it does in wet? We never know what we'll get...most years it's water the plants every morning, in 2023 we lost most plants because it rained virtually every day.
I have to admit, I've paid considerably more than $10 even for bulbs, of some of the less commonly offered Canna varieties, such as Pretoria and Cleopatra (photos below). Like most things, the price of plants is now much higher than it used to be.

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I've read that Lantana prefers soil that's well-drained, at least. Also, areas that don't have too much shade. It really all depends on your local conditions, of course. Planting instructions for all Cannas, for example, will always say to place in full sun. They do like full sun, but not when the temperature goes over 100 F, and then they get scalded from the the combination of sun and heat. This past summer, we had unusually high heat for an extended period, and the Cannas that I had in the more shaded areas were less stressed, overall.
kevinkk wrote: Mon Jan 15, 2024 5:08 pm ...The real threat are the forest goats, also known as Whitetail deer, they can decimate my expensive cultivars in a few minutes,
I have some nice Lupine cultivars that usually come back every year, although last year they were animal salad.
I've had some problems with deer occasionally chewing on Cannas (which incidentally, they are not supposed to even like). But, I found an effective solution - a commercial deer/rabbit repellent spray, which is made from putrescent whole egg solids. It smells rather pungent when freshly applied, but after a day or two, the odor isn't very noticeable (except to deer, that is). It remains effective for quite some time, unless there's a heavy rain to wash it off.

As for Lanata - it has its own, built-in protection: the whole plant contains a chemical that I've heard described as smelling like a combination of citus, pine and gasoline. Ordinarily, the plant is virtually odorless, but as soon as you start cutting on it, the odor is immediately obvious. The leaves will also cause contact dermatitis, so gloves are essential when doing any trimming. I don't know of anything that will eat Lantata (apart from a few insects that are adapted to it). Deer and rabbits certainly won't touch it; it seems that its chemical defense is more than they can tolerate.
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by 58chevy »

Livingplanet, I've never heard of Lantana described as smelling like "citus, pine, & gasoline". To me it has a very pleasant odor, and you can smell it without cutting it. It's definitely not odorless.
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by livingplanet3 »

58chevy wrote: Mon Jan 15, 2024 11:36 pm Livingplanet, I've never heard of Lantana described as smelling like "citus, pine, & gasoline". To me it has a very pleasant odor, and you can smell it without cutting it. It's definitely not odorless.
Interesting - it seems that people often find the odor of Lantana somewhat noxious. However, I've not noticed much of an odor from it unless cut. The plant contains triterpene acids, although I don't know if these are the source of the smell. In any case, I've encountered various plants with considerably less pleasant odors. Ailanthus would be high on the list; its leaves give off a smell similar to burning rubber / rancid peanut butter, if even slightly bruised.

Do Lantata flowers themselves have a scent?
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by kevinkk »

Well, I think all mammals are cute on some level, as far as the rabbits, there aren't enough or any of them to be pests.
I have an old photo of a rabbit here at home, but it was at least 10 or more years ago. Right now the starlings are frustrating me,
the deer here are virtually tame, and very reluctant to leave once they show up. They ate the last of the nasturtiums before
the cold took care of the plants. Deer resistant plants? Hardly. My Monkey Puzzle tree is the only animal proof plant I have.
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by wollastoni »

I have a small lantana which doesn't attract any butterflies BTW... maybe Breton butterflies doesn't like it.

To me, it smells very good, a bit like citrus indeed.
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by Chuck »

wollastoni wrote: Tue Jan 16, 2024 12:47 pm I have a small lantana which doesn't attract any butterflies BTW... maybe Breton butterflies doesn't like it.

To me, it smells very good, a bit like citrus indeed.

Great, and already my dreams of guaranteed attraction is immediately cast into doubt.
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by livingplanet3 »

kevinkk wrote: Tue Jan 16, 2024 1:11 am My Monkey Puzzle tree is the only animal proof plant I have.
Possibly the last thing that ate the foliage of that kind of tree, were sauropod dinosaurs.
Chuck wrote: Tue Jan 16, 2024 2:24 pm Great, and already my dreams of guaranteed attraction is immediately cast into doubt.
It might depend on what species of butterflies you have in your area, but Lantana is attractive to a wide variety of them, especially Papilionidae, various Nymphalidae, Pieridae, Hesperiidae, Lycaenidae, etc. -

https://www.google.com/search?q=Lantana ... US903US903
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by wollastoni »

Lantana is indeed very attractive to butterflies in Asia and New Guinea, that's why I planted some in my French garden.

But in my garden, it seems to have no effect at all on the butterflies I have in the area (Vanessa atalanta, Aglais io, Pieris rapae...).
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by adamcotton »

wollastoni wrote: Wed Jan 17, 2024 1:21 pm But in my garden, it seems to have no effect at all on the butterflies I have in the area
Perhaps you have the wrong variety/species, some do not attract butterflies, or maybe local conditions are not favourable to nectar production.

Adam.
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Re: Thai Sunray Canna

Post by livingplanet3 »

Speaking of Lantana varieties/species, here is one that until very recently, I was unaware of: the purple trailing Lantata (L. montevidensis), a native of South America -

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lantana_montevidensis

Apart from the unusual colour, it has a rather different growth habit than that of most other Lantanas.
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