Sunday, March 1, 2015

Anthurium no. 0120 "Eliza Boutisecksis"

Considering that virtually all of the Schlumbergera seedlings so far have been orange, you'd think that an orange Anthurium would be no big deal to me: way more orange than anybody could ever need already, no point in getting excited about more. But no. However common orange Schlumbergeras might be around here, orange Anthuriums are rare, and it can totally make my week to see a first-time bloomer come up orange, like happened recently. (You'll get to meet her soon.)1

And Eliza is as orange as they get, so far.


She doesn't have especially large spathes, which is sort of a problem, but they're at least exceptionally vivid. (I'm not altogether convinced that there isn't a fluorescent pigment in there somewhere, because they seem to reflect more light than is hitting them.) Plus the leaves are different, in a way which stands out to me but probably just looks like another stupid Anthurium leaf to you:


2

Like #0126 "Erin Dirtylondry," Eliza's been promoted to a 6-inch pot. I haven't been able to pollinate her yet, but I haven't given up trying.

-

1 Only four members in Orange Club, and two of them don't even attend all the meetings:
#0031 "Sylvester" is orange / white, and #0120 "Eliza Boutisecksis" is orange / orange, and then there are two that are only sort of technically orange: #0118 "Elijah Sturdabowtit" is orange when it first opens but then quickly changes to pink (and then quickly changes to dead -- the blooms are not long-lived at all), and the fourth is the new one that I'll write about shortly, who is also only kind of orange, but in a neat way.
2 (The lobes and tip are both more rounded, the secondary veins leading away from the midrib are slightly sunken compared to the rest of the leaf, giving them a slightly "quilted" look, and the margins curl under very slightly, making the already rounded leaves look even more so.)
Which, um, by the way -- I know I mentioned a while back that I was working on an Anthurium foliage post, and I'm sad to inform you that however long I imagined it taking when I said that, it's going to take me a lot longer than that to finish. It's mainly a problem of not quite having a vocabulary for talking about them yet. I see certain traits popping up in certain seedlings, like, the new leaves on some of them are brown, or all of the veins are slightly sunken, or the lobes at the top of the "heart" are unusually pointed or whatever, and it's easy enough to see those particular bits, but different characteristics also seem to move as a group: a seedling whose immature leaves have a red midrib is also way more likely to have thin, broad, dark-green mature leaves with wavy margins; seedlings with five or seven main veins all radiating out from the point where the petiole meets the leaf also tend to have light yellow-green new leaves. Not only have I not yet sat down and closely examined all of the seedlings' foliage and recorded their descriptions, but I don't even have a terribly good sense of how many characteristics I'm looking for, total, or where to draw the line between trait A and trait B, because characteristics may be more obvious or less obvious, blend together gradually, only appear on leaves after a plant has reached a certain age, only visible under certain lighting conditions, or whatever. I feel fairly certain that I have Things To Say about Anthurium foliage, but I don't know what they are exactly, or even how to go about finding out. So it's probably better if you just forget that I ever promised a foliage post.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Anthurium no. 0283 "Anne Pursand"

Alas, Anne is no more. The problem in this case was that she lived on the outside edge of a flat and, when her flat was being moved, or when an adjacent flat was being moved, she tended to be tangled up in another flat's leaves and consequently got uprooted. Regularly. Like, once a week. It is occasionally the case that I can re-root an uprooted Anthurium, but it's uncommon, and obviously it's basically impossible if the uprooting is an ongoing thing.

At her best, Anne was okay,


but she was not at her best a hell of a lot of the time.


I'd be more broken up about this if Anne were anything but a pink spathe / pink spadix, but I have plenty of those, so no big loss. I have to remind myself of it pretty often, but I'm really not going to get strong, bug-resistant, beautiful plants unless I throw out some weak, buggy, gross ones from time to time.

Anne is survived by no children, sixteen siblings and half-siblings,1 and a whole truckload of nieces and nephews.

-

1 (#0271 "Wanda Reulthemal," #0273 "Wes Coast," #0274 "Wilma Wishcomtroux," #0275 "Yvette Horizon," #0276 "Zach Religious," #0277 "Zach Treplica," #0278 "Hailey Escorpus," #0279 "Tristan Shout," #0280 "Jujubee," #0281 "Laganja Estranja," #0282 "Dave Trading," #0284 "Divine," #0288 "Cookie Buffet," #0578 "Bubba Lee," #0594 "Charity Case," and #0595 "Josie P. Katt")


Friday, February 27, 2015

Anthuriums no. 0219, 0220, 0330, 0556, and 0580

An unrelated note first:

About a year ago, when there was some big to-do about AOL accounts being hacked, I attempted to change my password. I didn't have any reason to think that my account was one of those affected, but it's the sort of thing you're supposed to do from time to time anyway, and it seemed like an especially good idea then, so I tried it. Put in my security question answers and the old password and typed in the new password twice and so on and so forth, and when I clicked the button to save the new password, I got the little spinny loading icon, but it never actually loaded a new page to tell me that the password had been updated, and the old password continued to work, so clearly nothing got changed.

I talked to someone at AOL about this, and he indicated that there were just that many people trying to change their AOL accounts at that time, so if I was just patient and kept trying, he claimed, sooner or later it would go through. So I spent about a week and a half periodically trying to change my password, but it always ended the same way, and eventually I just gave up and forgot about it.

Fast forward almost a year, and I have concerns about my AOL account again (I think my e-mail address is being spoofed, not hacked, but again, changing passwords is something you're supposed to do, so I tried it again, and it failed again, and I contacted AOL again. This time, AOL suggested trying to log in with a different browser, which I did (not helpful), and then said that the only thing they could do would be to give me a free 2 months of technical support, and tech support could log into my computer remotely and determine the problem and deal with it.

And I'm like, well, um, that sounds great and all, but you're not really giving me any reason to have confidence that, at the end of the free 2 months, I'll be able to get out of the tech support deal, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to pay for technical support. And the guy was like, no, it's actually really easy to get out of tech support on-line if you want to, you wouldn't have to pay. And I was like, yeah, but you guys think it should be really easy to change a password on-line, too.1

So the upshot is that I'm looking for a new e-mail service. My ideal e-mail provider would look like this:

(highest priority)
1. Free
2. Not GMail
3. Reasonably secure for a user whose understanding of internet security is basically "don't click on suspicious-looking links" and "use strong passwords"
4. (optional) Simple to set up and use
5. (optional) No ads
(lowest priority)

Thunderbird fails condition #1,2 GMail fails condition #2. I'm leaning toward Outlook.com at the moment, but I thought maybe one of y'all would have some warnings, advice, or alternatives that would be worth hearing before I make the final decision.


Now the Anthuriums.

What do these five seedlings have in common? None of them have bloomed yet. This isn't the complete list of plants with buds but no blooms, but four of the five also have in common that they haven't been mentioned here previously. Consequently, the photos aren't going to be terribly exciting. You've seen undeveloped Anthurium buds before. Really the e-mail stuff is probably more entertaining. But this is still news, so.


#0219 "Rhoda Horse"


Now there are two Rhodas doing things. (The other is #0232 "Rhoda Badcek," who first bloomed last April.) This is kind of bad news, because it's going to make it even harder for me to keep straight in my head which seedlings are doing what (like the Eliza / Elijah similarity wasn't bad enough). I suppose something like this was going to happen eventually.3


#0220 "Nora Morse"


Nothing terribly interesting about Nora yet, though it's interesting that she and her presumed sibling Rhoda both started buds at exactly the same time. I don't actually know that there's a way to induce Anthuriums to bloom short of giving them decent conditions and letting them make up their own minds about the timing, but stuff like this4 makes me think that there must be some kind of specific signal.


#0556 "Frank Lee Grande"


Had I mentioned previously that I'm including drag king names too? 'Cause I'm including drag king names too. Couldn't find a page for Mr. Grande to link to, alas.5


#0580 "Marsha Marsha Marsha"


This is one of those names where I can't remember if I found it somewhere, invented it, or found it, forgot it, and reinvented it. Maybe the question is moot. Do people even get Brady Bunch references these days?


#0330 "Faye Quinette"


Faye's bud remains brown. I've noted before that photos of brown-spathed Anthuriums tend to look, to me, like someone just took a photo in bad light: my brain has a hard time accepting that the spathe actually looks like that. (My mother's reaction on seeing it: "You're sure it's not dead?") This also turns out to be the case when I'm looking at it with my own two eyes, strangely enough. But these photos (especially the first one) are pretty accurate w/r/t color.


Of course, the most recent bloom on #0334 "Jean Poole" also looked fairly brown6 and that wound up being dark red once it opened, so it's still possible that Faye will turn out to be not quite actually brown. But so far, so good, and although I can't imagine finding a brown Anthurium remotely appealing, the potential weirdness has me pretty excited. I'm hoping that if I just keep checking the bud daily, I might be able to convince my brain that this is its actual color by the time the bud opens.

-

1 (Left unsaid:) And anyway, in what universe does it make sense for me to, when having security-related problems with your e-mail service, grant you even more intrusive access to my computer?
2 (the service itself appears to be free, but you have to pay to get an e-mail address initially, and it's not clear whether that's a one-time fee or an ongoing one. Also even if it were free, it didn't look like it met the "simple to set up" criterion, so.)
3 And it could get way worse than this: the combined list of already-named seedlings and potential future seedling names includes three Alexises, four Amandas, three Auroras, three Bobs, five Donnas, three Eves (plus two Evies), four Heathers, four Heidis, four Hollys, three Honeys, three Idas, three Jacks, three Ninas, three Reginas (naturally), three Sashas, three Sharons, three Veras, and three Wandas, and that's ignoring duplicate names where the spelling differs. That list also ignores the even more numerous cases where only two actual / potential seedling designations share a first name.
It's not yet as bad as, say, a preschool class, where there are eight Sophias and twelve Jacksons and everybody has to distinguish between Sophia H., Sophia R., Sophia A., Sophia J., and so on, and in any case something like this was bound to come up sooner or later because there are only so many common and familiar names, but it does complicate things for me. We're already at the point where I'm beginning to have trouble keeping track of how many seedlings have attempted to bloom (81, for the record; 60 have completed blooms), how many of those have died (8), where they all are down in the basement (which gets more complicated because sometimes I have to move them around), what colors they all are (especially complicated because some of them have only bloomed once, a while ago: obviously it's easier to keep up if they just bloom continuously, because I get reminded continuously), etc.
4 Other pairs of closely-related plants that have produced new blooms simultaneously after a long bloomless period: #0279 "Tristan Shout" and #0594 "Charity Case," and #565 "MysterE" / #0232 "Rhoda Badcek." This could be coincidental, but I'm betting there's something else.
5 It's possibly one of those names that gets used by several people at once. Certain drag queen names, like "Ida Slapter," are so old that they seem to be available to whoever wants to use them and don't necessarily correspond to any particular performer. "Frank Lee Grande" could be one of those. It is, of course, more likely that I just fail at search engines.
6 More of a red-brown, granted. Pretty much the color of old scabs, truth be told, though if you wanted to I suppose you could probably imagine it as surface-of-Mars-colored instead, which isn't a prettier color but is a little more poetic-sounding. Name That Color says the back of Jean's spathe is "Prairie Sand," which is arguably even more poetic-sounding, but I don't think of prairies as being especially sandy places so that mostly just confuses me.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Anthurium no. 0126 "Erin Dirtylondry"

Erin was the thirteenth Anthurium seedling to bloom for me, and in looking back through old posts to see where she got mentioned, I notice that she kinda got lost in the crowd at the time. Which is too bad, since her blooms have been pretty consistently nice, large, and long-lasting. The only thing wrong with them, really, is the color: I have lots of pink-and-pinks.1


One does need a couple good pink-and-pinks around, though. Erin is one of a few pink-and-pinks that have been promoted to 6-inch pots;2 the bloom in this post is the first one she produced after the transplant.


Nothing about Erin is clearly superior to all the other seedlings, but she manages to be above average in most categories (earlyish to bloom but not the earliest, spathes are larger than average but not the largest, pleasant leaves but not the biggest / heaviest / prettiest), plus, as one of the earliest seedlings to bloom, there's a bit of a sentimental attachment there.


One slightly interesting thing: last May/June, she produced a spathe with a dark pink blush at the base, which isn't unprecedented (#0083 "Carmen Adairya" does this a lot) but is definitely uncommon. According to the Anthurium-breeding book,3 this may be related to the time of year -- apparently a lot of Anthurium plants will produce blushed inflorescences in the winter but not at other times of the year, and obake spathes (those with green coloration near the margins) tend to be produced only in summer and early fall, with the plants producing "standard" blooms of a solid color the rest of the time.


If blushing is supposed to be more intense in the winter, and Erin was blushing in the summer, then the timing seems weird, but it's entirely possible that the basement seedlings have their seasons backwards -- they don't see a lot of natural light, and it may well be warmer down there in the winter and cooler in the summer because of us running the heat and air-conditioning.

In any case, Erin's looking like a keeper. She's even already produced five seedlings.4

-

1 So far:
#0041 "Anna Graham" • #0066 "Barbara Seville" • #0083 "Carmen Adairya" • #0126 "Erin Dirtylondry" • #0214 "Anita Knapp" • #0216 "Gillian Jamm" • #0218 "Noah Fence" • #0232 "Rhoda Badcek" • #0235 "Rowan DeBoate" • #0241 "Megan Gigaterra" • #0244 "Sara Problem" (deceased) • #0271 "Wanda Reulthemal" • #0273 "Wes Coast" • #0275 "Yvette Horizon" • #0279 "Tristan Shout" • #0283 "Anne Pursand" (deceased) • #0565 "MysterE" • #0594 "Charity Case,"
with #0118 "Elijah Sturdabowtit," #0202 "Mason Pepperspray," and "#0218 "Noah Fence" as edge cases (Elijah is orange / orange when the spathe first unfurls, but becomes pink / pink over time; Mason starts out pink / pink and becomes white / pink; Noah's first bloom was pink / pinkish-lavender but the second was pink / orange, so I'm not sure how to classify him.)
2 The others were 0066 "Barbara Seville," 0271 "Wanda Reulthemal," and 0275 "Yvette Horizon," who all have their own strengths (lighter pink, very fertile, and more saturated/vivid pink, respectively) though just between you, me, and the internet, I'm kinda thinking that Barbara might not deserve to be in such elite company, and I'm a little concerned that Erin, Wanda, and Yvette know this. I don't want to see a Mean Girls thing start up. Plus, now that I think about it, they often do all wear pink on Wednesdays.
3 (Breeding Anthuriums in Hawaii, Haruyuki Kamemoto and Adelheid R. Kuehnle, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, HI, 1996.)
4 Only five at the moment: #0982 "Elle Emenopé," #0983 "Boxxa Vine," #0984 "Alotta McGriddles," #0985 "Sasha Metz," and #0986 "Marie Noelle Ankwanza." Another ten or so have germinated but not been potted up yet.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Anthuriums no. 1000 to 1028

So a lot of things are going on with the Anthuriums lately, some of them more interesting than others. In the past, I've tried to just let a certain amount of stuff build up and then dump all the news on you at once in a big post like this or this, but so many things are happening so quickly that any draft I attempted to write would go out of date as I was writing it. Also I suspect those are sort of a lot to ask of y'all. Those posts tend to be really long, and you have things to do, places to go. So I'm going to try, instead, to treat them more like the recent Schlumbergera posts1 and focus on individuals or small groups of seedlings.

The positive part of this is that I should be able to update the blog nearly every day until . . . I don't know. Until the Anthuriums stop doing things. The negative side is that it's all going to be about Anthuriums, and will probably be just as repetitive as the Anthurium Update posts were, just spread out over a longer period of time.

So that's what I'm thinking will happen. You've been warned.

This particular post just marks a new milestone in the Anthurium-breeding process: the seedling ID numbers have just rolled over into four digits, as of 19 February. Here is #1000, "Thorgy Thor."2


No, she doesn't look like much yet, but she's still basically a preschooler, in human years.3 Give her time.

-

1 Which are possibly not over after all; there are at least two previously-unbloomed seedlings with new buds at the moment (099 and 111). Who wants to bet they'll both be some shade of orange?
2 (The performer rhymes "Thorgy" with "orgy," not "corgi.")
3 Thorgy's six months old in this photo.
I spent forever playing with numbers in Excel trying to get a formula to convert Anthurium age to human age, figuring that seed sow date was more or less equivalent to birthdate, first bloom was more or less puberty, and age when a seedling's seeds were sown was parenthood (which first motherhood in the U.S. is averaging around 25 years old, according to a sort of rushed and non-critical internet search), but the Anthurium life cycle doesn't scale well to a human life cycle. The best overall approximation I could come up with was a fifth-degree polynomial (y = 0.000000279x5 - 0.000047302x4 + 0.002328818x3 - 0.020959355x2 + 0.381271297x, where y is the human equivalent in years and x is the actual age of the plant in months), which was obviously not particularly easy to calculate in one's head and consequently isn't very useful. And also might not bear much relationship to reality in the first place: I don't know the maximum possible lifespan for an Anthurium hybrid. Don't even have a guess. But let's go ahead and say Thorgy's a preschooler anyway: it's true metaphorically, whether it's true biologically or not.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pretty pictures: Phalaenopsis OX Spot Queen 'OX1460'

A "Spot Queen" that . . . doesn't really have any spots to speak of. I wonder what that's about.


In orchid-related news: the Illowa Orchid Society's Show is being held March 21-22 this year. I'll be there, taking pictures, so if you'd prefer that I not take pictures of your orchids you should probably put "make a 'NO PHOTOS' sign for orchid show" on your to-do list now.


Phalaenopsis OX Spot Queen 'OX1460' = Phalaenopsis OX Honey x Phalaenopsis OX Black Jack (Ref.)


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Random plant event: not a Schlumbergera or Anthurium (!)

You may have gotten the impression that I no longer have any plants that are not Schlumbergeras or Anthuriums. If so, you are wrong, but I forgive you, because it's . . . basically true.1 There are, nevertheless, other kinds of plants here, and sometimes they still do things. No Eucharis has bloomed for me since June 2013, and this particular Eucharis hasn't bloomed since December 2010. I wasn't trying to make this happen, so it was a pleasant surprise:


And they still smell wonderful, of course.

-

1 754 Anthurium seedlings, 25 specimens of named varieties used to generate seedlings (though some of the named varieties' names are not actually known -- I'm assuming they have names -- and some of the named varieties have not yet actually produced any seedlings); 193 Schlumbergera seedlings, 26 cuttings of seedlings, and 10 named varieties. As of February 20, this means that 65% of the individual plants in my collection are either Schlumbergeras or Anthuriums. Expand that to include the other plants I'm producing from my own self-generated seeds (32 Spathiphyllums, 34 Coffea arabicas, and 4 Euphorbia leuconeura) and about 70% of my plant collection is self-produced now.
And that's me being slightly restrained -- I have a whole fruit's worth of Leuchtenbergia principis seeds I could start but haven't, plus a bunch of Salvia elegans seeds I collected in late fall that I'm not sure how or when to start, and I have enough Canna seeds that I could just about fling them throughout the house and then skate from room to room:


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pretty pictures: Miltoniopsis (Dearest x Butterfly Primrose)

I'm assuming that the reason for the two sets of flowers being different colors is that they change over time, like so many other kinds of flowers do. (The lighter-colored ones do seem a little more beaten-up than the darker blooms.)


Another explanation is that the darker ones are just in shadow, or that my camera is making up colors again, as it often does when photographic subjects are at the extreme red or violet ends of the spectrum. Either way.


Miltoniopsis blooms are nice, but the ones at the orchid show always seem to be basically the same flower -- red or magenta, with varying degrees of spots and stripes near the lip -- with one yellow exception (Miltoniopsis Andrea West).

More typical: Keiko Komoda (from the 2010 show), Morris Chestnut (2010), Arnold Linsman (2011), Lennart Karl Gottling (2012), Echo Bay 'Midnight Tears' (2013, Echo Bay (2013). Surprisingly, most of the ones that come up in an image search are white, which I think I like better than the red / magenta? Not sure.