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Thread: Do you recognize my "Whatzit Flowers"?

  1. #1
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    Do you recognize my "Whatzit Flowers"?

    I have some flowers in my yard that I like, but the person who gave me the bulbs (rhizomes?) 10 years ago doesn't know what they're called. The flowers are similar to old-fashioned orange daylilies, and they grow the same way as daylilies:

    • Leaves at the bottom and a flower stalk that sticks up higher than the leaves
    • Several flower buds at the top of each flower stalk
    • The bud closest to the tip of the flower stalk blooms first and dies within 24 hours
    • Each flower bud blooms when the one in line above it dies (or sometimes flower bulbs are on adjacent stemlets and bloom at the same time)


    The big difference between these and daylilies is that their leaves are huge (over a fool long) and the flower stalks are 4-8 feet tall, even though the flowers themselves are only dalily size.

    Another characteristic of these flowers is that after each flower dies, a purplish bulge forms where the bosom's base was, and after a few days the bulge turns brown, drys up, and cracks open allowing the seed(s) inside to fall out. However it seems pretty clear that this plant only/mainly grows by bulblets (rhizomes?) spreading out from the existing plant, not from seeds.

    Any ideas what these flowers are?

    DSCI0062.jpg
    DSCI0065.jpg
    Whatzit Flowers.jpg

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    In my very uneducated mind I said, “they’re canna lilies.” But I have no idea if I’m right or not?

  3. #3
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Yes, cannas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewGig View Post
    In my very uneducated mind I said, “they’re canna lilies.” But I have no idea if I’m right or not?
    Yes. I did some googling on canna lilies and some of the descriptions and photos look very much like what I've got. This one is a reasonably close match to the color and shape of the flowers on mine.

    canna-bengal-tiger.jpg

    Now I can buy some more when the appropriate season comes.

    Thank You NewGig and IL.

  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    Yes. I did some googling on canna lilies and some of the descriptions and photos look very much like what I've got. This one is a reasonably close match to the color and shape of the flowers on mine.

    canna-bengal-tiger.jpg

    Now I can buy some more when the appropriate season comes.

    Thank You NewGig and IL.
    This cultivar in the close-up is probably Pretoria. It has striped leaves and an orange flower. It’s so much flasher than your standard red canna lily.

    The canna lilies by your house have an orange-ish flower, but they don’t appear to have striped leaves.


    Honestly, plants with variegated green leaves don’t grow as well as solid green leaves because they are missing some chlorophyll, so think about that if you choose this cultivar. I’ve grown Pretoria and it’s a slow grower for me
    Last edited by iris lilies; 9-16-21 at 4:29pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    The canna lilies by your house have an orange is flower, but they don’t appear to have striped leaves.
    Correct. I was looking mostly at the flower shape and it's basic color. The ones I have are solid orange the same as the generic orange daylilies I grew up with, and the leaves on my plants have tiny ribs which you can see in my OP and are solid green.

    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I’ve grown Pretoria and it’s a slow grower for me
    There's nothing slow-growing about the ones I have. They're planted in pure Texas clay and they were frozen all the way down to the ground by our infamous February 2021 Texas cold spell, but by June they were back up to full size like they are in my OP.

    BTW the webpage where I got the photo in my reply to NewGig called that flower "Canna Pretoria Bengal Tiger". It's not an exact match to mine, but pretty close. This photo from a different webpage shows the flower shape better.

    il_1588xN.1909934410_ctmk.jpg

    And you're right the leaves on this variety are strongly variegated. mine aren't. But now that I have a name I can call them, I'll be able to find a close match.

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    Yay I was right! I haven't seen or thought about those for a long time...

    https://www.dutchbulbs.com/product/G...gated_Foliage?

    I was surprised, they supposedly grow in my zone. They were common in SoCal where I was raised...

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewGig View Post
    Yay I was right! I haven't seen or thought about those for a long time...

    https://www.dutchbulbs.com/product/G...gated_Foliage?

    I was surprised, they supposedly grow in my zone. They were common in SoCal where I was raised...
    In cold lands they have to be dug up and stored over winter.They are tender bulbs.

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    Correct. I was looking mostly at the flower shape and it's basic color. The ones I have are solid orange the same as the generic orange daylilies I grew up with, and the leaves on my plants have tiny ribs which you can see in my OP and are solid green.

    There's nothing slow-growing about the ones I have. They're planted in pure Texas clay and they were frozen all the way down to the ground by our infamous February 2021 Texas cold spell, but by June they were back up to full size like they are in my OP.

    BTW the webpage where I got the photo in my reply to NewGig called that flower "Canna Pretoria Bengal Tiger". It's not an exact match to mine, but pretty close. This photo from a different webpage shows the flower shape better.

    il_1588xN.1909934410_ctmk.jpg

    And you're right the leaves on this variety are strongly variegated. mine aren't. But now that I have a name I can call them, I'll be able to find a close match.
    That is good that yours survived a hard freeze. Many hears mine will survive through winters but sometimes not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    That is good that yours survived a hard freeze. Many years mine will survive through winters but sometimes not.
    Our severe cold spell with a high temp most days near or below freezing only lasted one week. I suspect it's the prolonged cold where you live that causes the frost line to be deeper and kills off your plants.

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