CANNA. A generation ago " Indian shot" was a tall rather weedy plant, with very conspicuous leaves and small red flowers which became ragged in a day. It was grown chiefly for foliage, and was known to all boys as furnishing hard black seeds for buckshot.
Then the plant wizards went to work. A French man turned the canna into a brilliant plant, flaunting scarlet and gold blooms of considerable size above Soft or cream candies have fondant as their base, which is prepared by cooking sugar, glucose, and water to syrup, and kneading the syrup after it has cooled with long paddles until it becomes creamy and smooth. After being molded by the machine de scribed above, the soft centers go to a coating machine, which supplies a coating of chocolate or other material.
This machine, called an " enrober," has a moving belt which carries the centers into the machine.
Here they encounter a short belt or wire mesh, through which soft chocolate is being forced from underneath, to coat the bottom of each piece. They then move on automatically to a third belt and are passed under a short section of wire netting above which is suspended a tank of chocolate coating kept warm by a steam-jacket. From the bottom of this tank a thin sheet of the chocolate flows, continuously, coating the tops and sides of the creams. The surplus coating flows through the wire mesh into a pan be neath, from which it is automatically pumped again into the suspended tank. The finished chocolates then pass on to another belt, to which are attached at green or bronze leaves. This form was crossed with various other species, until the canna is now a rival of the lily and orchid in beauty, but more dependable than either and as self-perpetuating as the potato.
The immense flowers, up to six inches across, have colors in every variation of red and yellow—scarlets that dazzle, more delicate shades of pink, rose, salmon, and lemon, and a promise of the pure white that is still being worked for. While some plants top a six foot man, the dwarf variety—seldom more than four feet in height—is most in favor.
The canna belongs to the Scitaminaceae or banana family. It may be propagated either from seed or by dividing the rootstock and planting in pots. The plants are injured by frost and should not be set out until the weather is thoroughly settled. Rich warm soil with plenty of moisture is desirable. Pick the flowers as soon as they wilt to prevent the forma tion of seeds and the flowers will keep coming all summer. After the stalks have been cut in the fall the roots may be stored and handled like potatoes until wanted for spring planting.