Gardeners’ Chronicle, 30(778): 366 (November 23, 1901)


This is correctly represented in the Supplementary Plate of the Gardeners' Chronicle, No. 769, as of "rich orange colour," and not brilliant scarlet, as it is stated at p. 227. In fact there is no scarlet in it, and the yellow "flaming" in the throat is hardly noticeable. This variety has some analogy with America, which remains one of the best of the second lot of Dammann's "creations," but the flowers of Mrs. (not Miss) Kate Gray are larger, of much brighter colour, they have much more substance, and are more freely produced. It was originated at Alhambra, near Los Angeles, in California, in the year 1896, by W. H. Morse, an English gardener, employed at that time by Capt. Gray, and was obtained by fertilising Italia with the pollen of Madame Crozy. Out of the many attempts made, only one seed appeared to ripen, and it came very near to being lost by an accident. Mr. Morse, of course, made very many visits to his Canna, and one morning he was accompanied by a pet Angora cat, who all at once jumped on the plant to catch a humming-bird. Under her weight the stalk of the Canna broke, the bird and the cat went flying in the air, and Mr. Morse picked up the precious seed-podówith what feeling one can imagine; but he was not discouraged, and tried to do the best he could under the circumstances. The solitary seed was well formed and plump, but still soft, and hardly beginning to colour. It was carefully sown, notwithstanding, and it came up in three weeks.

The most noteworthy hybrid I have raised is the Canna Mrs. Kate Gray, This canna was raised at Alhambra in the summer of 1896. Italia was the seed-bearing parent crossed with the pollen from Madam Crozy, the pollen from the leaf stamen being used. One seed was obtained, and since that time neither Italia nor Mrs. Kate Gray can be induced with me to perfect seed. W. H. MORSE