Sunday, April 26, 2015

Anthurium no. 0357 "Rhea Litré"

Yeah, not only are there two Rheas, there are two Rhea L.s. And both Rheas are pretty nice plants, too, as it happens, though it should be noted that Rhea Litré is less impressive than 0231 "Rhea Listick." If I had known there was a real-life drag queen who performs as "Rhea Litré," I probably would have named 0231 something else, but these things happen.

So but how is the plant, you might be asking. Well, see for yourself:


The bloom isn't anything we haven't seen before, really. Dark red and yellow-green like 0002 "Alexis Mateo," 0290 "RuPaul Charles," 0005 "Chad Michaels," and 0203 "Anna Mae Hemensouz." (Possibly a little more yellow than green in Rhea's case.)

Still, it's fairly nice, compared to most of those: Alexis produces gorgeous leaves but not many blooms, and grows very slowly; RuPaul is still pretty new and may yet surprise us, but the one bloom we've seen so far appeared to have been damaged during development. Until I overwatered a few times, Chad was doing really nicely, and the overwatering didn't actually kill him, but the new growth is coming along very slowly, and I have to be super-careful about watering until he's got a solid root system again. Anna Mae's spathes are pretty small compared to the others, and tend to flip backward pretty severely. So there's still plenty of room for a good dark red / yellow-green, which is why I'm keeping Rhea around.


One thing about all five plants with those bloom colors: they have good foliage. Alexis is the clear winner, with really big leaves, dramatic color, and nifty venation (Not that the photo below shows that necessarily, but trust me: Alexis is superior.), but all five tend to have leaves that are bigger, darker, thicker, and glossier than average. Even more importantly, they tend to be more resistant to thrips damage. (And thank goodness something around here is resistant to thrips damage.) All these characteristics are probably due to the influence of the NOID red, who I suspect of being the pollen parent in all five cases.1

Top: 0002 "Alexis Mateo" and 0005 "Chad Michaels."
Middle: 0203 "Anna Mae Hemensouz."
Bottom: 0290 "RuPaul Charles" and 0357 "Rhea Litré."

Looking forward to seeing a second bloom, because often the second blooms are a better indication of what the plant is really going to do than the first ones are.

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1 0002, 0005, 0203, 0357 have 'Gemini' as the seed parent; 0290's was 'White Gemini.'


Friday, April 24, 2015

Pretty picture: Psychopsis Kalihi

I've only written about one previous Psychopsis, a very different-looking one (here), which was from the 2011 show. When I did, a couple people said in the comments that they really loved the genus, which surprised me.


Not that there's anything especially wrong with the genus; I appreciate that they're at least weird, and sometimes they're colorful (the previously-posted one is, anyway; I'm not so much into this brown-and-yellow thing). It had just never occurred to me that they might be beloved, you know? Not sure I get it even still, and I can't say I aspire to grow one someday, but it at least got me to take another look at a genus I'd dismissed as being pointlessly weird.

Wikipedia says that the flowers look like "large butterflies with brightly colored bodies . . . , very long antennae-like petals, and outspread wing-like dappled yellow and brown sepals." Not sure I see that in this particular case, but I definitely see it in the photo of P. papilio they used for the article, and the photo of P. krameriana at Wikimedia Commons. Though it's odd that Kalihi isn't shaped like either of those species, since it's their hybrid.

Psychopsis Kalihi = Psychopsis krameriana x Psychopsis papilio (Ref.)

If anyone missed the previous post, I'm ever-so-slowly gearing up to sell some cuttings from the Schlumbergera seedlings. If you have any interest in this, check that post out. Demand has been a lot lower than I was expecting, but even so, people have called dibs on all the available cuttings of 023A "Stoked" and 088A "Cyborg Unicorn" already. So, if you found one of the seedlings interesting enough to want one yourself, you should speak up sooner rather than later.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Preliminary Schlumbergera seedling-selling stuff

I finally have a list of which Schlumbergera seedlings will probably be available for sale, for anybody who was interested in getting one. My guess is that I'll probably be ready to mail them out in May, though exactly when in May depends on the weather, and I don't control the weather.1 My best guess is something like $5-7 for one plant and $12 for 2 (which includes shipping), in mid- to late May, but none of that's nailed down.

The plants I'm mailing out will be two (sometimes) or three (usually) cuttings of the same plant, stuck in a square pot with sides two inches long. All cuttings in a pot will have produced new growth above the soil line.2 This is approximately what you could expect to receive, maybe a little bigger since they'll have been growing for another month:

L-R: 064A "Rose Hoses," 027A "Kiln," 057A "Pyrotechnic," 061A "Leather Fairy."

For the moment, I'm setting a limit of two pots of cuttings per person, to ensure that everybody who wants one can get one. (That limit will be lifted, if it turns out that demand's lower than I'm expecting.) As of 24 April 2015, I will try to honor requests for however many pots you want to get, though remember that I only have two pots for most of them.

U.S. addresses only, alas, since it's a pain to try to ship plants internationally. (Sorry, non-U.S. readers. I would if I could.)

This post is mostly to get feedback about which seedlings people are interested in, so that I can 1) plan who gets which plants, and 2) start more cuttings if a particular seedling turns out to be really popular. For the moment, I have cuttings from 19 different seedlings available, and there may be more than that by July or August.

What I'm looking for right now is an e-mail3 telling me what plants you're interested in, ideally ranked by first choice, second choice, third choice, etc., so that I know what to substitute if your first choice is not available.4 Get as complicated as you like. You can also just say something like, "I'd like the best orange/white you can give me," "whatever one nobody else is interested in," "any orange/pink except 'Cyborg Unicorn,'" or something along those lines.5 Calling dibs in this way doesn't obligate you to purchase anything. When I'm ready to start mailing plants, I'll try to work out who gets what in a way that makes everybody happy, notify people accordingly, and only then will we start talking about which specific plants in exchange for which specific payments, mailing addresses, and all that.

Photos and brief descriptions of each follow:

008B "Candor"
Colors (petals / tube): orange / light pink; dark orange / light pink
Bloom Frequency: slow6
Comments: Might be the same plant as 008A "Frightened Dog," just producing more shapely blooms. I haven't seen a second bloom from "Frightened Dog," and "Frightened Dog" happened before I started marking the branches to indicate different seedlings.


010A "Semantic Satiation"
Colors (petals / tube): orange / pink; ages to red-orange / pink
Bloom Frequency: slow


012A "Sofa Fort"
Colors (petals / tube): orange / pink
Bloom Frequency: medium
Comments: One of my personal favorites; the orange and pink harmonize better on this one than they do on some of the other orange / pinks.


019A "Belevenissen"
Colors (petals / tube): orange / white
Bloom Frequency: medium


022A "Sad Tomato"
Colors (petals / tube): red-orange / white; ages to red-orange / light pink
Bloom Frequency: medium
Comments: The color doesn't do much for me personally, but it blooms well, the blooms last a normal amount of time, and the color is strong, so I think it's objectively a good seedling, just one I'm not especially into.


023A "Stoked"
Colors (petals / tube): dark orange / white
Bloom Frequency: fast
Comments: Another of my personal favorites, though sometimes the petals . . . break off? I'm not sure what's going on; I just know that a few times after taking photos, I then notice pieces of petals on the floor or wherever, and they seem to be mainly from "Stoked." Either I'm being unusually rough with it, or it's unusually brittle. All existing pots of cuttings are spoken for, but if you're interested in it, go ahead and e-mail me to say you want it; I'm planning to start another round of cuttings shortly, plus people do sometimes change their mind or whatever.


024B "Bryce Canyon"
Colors (petals / tube): light orange / white; yellow-orange / white
Bloom Frequency: crazy fast
Comments: I forgot that I'd already taken cuttings of "Bryce Canyon" and took another batch, so there are four sets available, meaning that if you ask for it, you're likely to get it. Does drop a lot of buds, but it starts out with so many that it still winds up producing more flowers than any of the others.


025A "Clownfish"
Colors (petals / tube): dark orange / white
Bloom Frequency: slow
Comments: Earliest to bloom, and still seems to be the least picky about getting absolute darkness at night, but for all that, it doesn't produce very many flowers. Reason is unknown. 023A "Stoked" looks a lot the same but blooms much better.


026A "Brick Wall"
Colors (petals / tube): orange / white; pink-orange / white
Bloom Frequency: medium
Comments: Probably my overall favorite orange from the group; it doesn't come across in the photos at all, but there's a weird softness to the color that I find very appealing, and the flowers practically glow at certain times of day. I mean, they all do this to some degree or another (golden hour + orange bloom = glowy), but "Brick Wall" regularly stops me in my tracks. It's the weirdest thing.


027A "Kiln"
Colors (petals / tube): orange / white, slightly lighter orange / white
Bloom Frequency: medium
Comments: Always has that whee-I'm-in-a-wind-tunnel look happening, more so than most of the other seedlings.


028A "Phil Collen"
Colors (petals / tube): orange / very light pink; ages to orange-red / light pink
Bloom Frequency: medium


028B "Neon Like"
Colors (petals / tube): orange / pink
Bloom Frequency: medium
Comments: Only one available


030A "Diwali"
Colors (petals / tube): orange / pink
Bloom Frequency: slow
Comments: I can't remember how many blooms I've gotten since this photo of the first one, but it/they also had the same screwy not-fully-opened thing going. So this might just be the way it grows.


031A "Baby Carrots"
Colors (petals / tube): orange / white; ages to orange / light pink
Bloom Frequency: medium


057A "Pyrotechnic"
Colors (petals / tube): pink-orange / white; ages to orange-pink / white
Bloom Frequency: medium
Comments: Another one I really like, probably based on the color being pinker than most. Fairly substantial color change from orange to orange-pink as the blooms age, which may or may not appeal to you but is at least interesting.


061A "Leather Fairy"
Colors (petals / tube): light orange / white
Bloom Frequency: slow
Comments: Looks an awful lot like the NOID peach that I think was the pollen parent, and I think has only produced one flower to date, but the cuttings rooted like champs so at least the plant is fairly vigorous? I mean, this is definitely the one to get if you're big into stems.


064A "Rose Hoses"
Colors (petals / tube): red-orange / pink
Bloom Frequency: medium
Comments: Something about "Rose Hoses" that I don't like, but I haven't been able to figure out what. All the individual parts seem fine; I just don't like the way they come together, or something. Probably the seedling closest in appearance to 'Caribbean Dancer,' the seed parent, of the plants currently available.


078A "Art Party"
Colors (petals / tube): red / pink
Bloom Frequency: slow
Comments: I like "Art Party" so much that I may decide that I don't want to sell it after all, so be prepared for that. (No particular reason to like it that much, except that it's not orange.) There's only one set of cuttings available, and the original plant has only produced one flower so far.


088A "Cyborg Unicorn"
Colors (petals / tube): orange / pink
Bloom Frequency: fast
Comments: Although the flower in the top two images looks different from the flower in the bottom two, I think both blooms are in fact from the same seedling. The suspected pollen parent varies between normal blooms and really streaky blooms too, and I know it's all the same plant. (Update 24 April 2015: I noticed a day or two ago that 'Caribbean Dancer' is prone to the occasional streaky bloom as well. Maybe it's just a normal Schlumbergera thing.) All pots of cuttings are presently spoken for, but as with 023A "Stoked," I encourage you to e-mail anyway if you're interested in it because there will be more sooner or later.


May be available later in the summer, or next year:
035A (currently in bud)
055A "Pumpkin Festival"
055B (name to be announced)
073A (name to be announced)
082A (name to be announced)
099A "Dessert Room"
111A "Morning Sun"
113A (currently in bud)

Would love to offer someday, but can't until they rebloom:
021A "Spider Crab"
021B "Birthday Dinner"
024A "Safety Vest"
054A "Helpful Gesture"
083B "Guy Fawkes Night"

Might never be offered through the blog because I'm interested in trying to patent it, maybe, if it ever blooms again, which I'm starting to think it never will:
083A "Psychedelic Bunny"

(The Anthuriums are a different situation entirely; I haven't even begun to try to decide which ones to sell. I can barely keep up with which ones are blooming at the moment. Maybe by the end of the summer?)

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1 (yet)
2 Or at least that's the hope. I have at least one pot where there's new growth on all cuttings for:
• 008B "Candor"
• 010A "Semantic Satiation"
• 012A "Sofa Fort"
• 019A "Belevenissen"
• 023A "Stoked"
• 024B "Bryce Canyon"
• 027A "Kiln"
• 028B "Neon Like"
• 030A "Diwali"
• 031A "Baby Carrots"
• 057A "Pyrotechnic"
• 061A "Leather Fairy"
• 064A "Rose Hoses"
• 078A "Art Party"
• 088A "Cyborg Unicorn"

and I'm still waiting for new growth on one or more cuttings of:

• 008B "Candor" (no longer true as of 24 April 2015)
• 010A "Semantic Satiation" (no longer true as of 24 April 2015)
• 022A "Sad Tomato"
• 025A "Clownfish"
• 026A "Brick Wall"
• 028A "Phil Collen"
• 031A "Baby Carrots" (no longer true as of 24 April 2015)

I'm fine with sending cuttings out that haven't produced new growth above the soil line if you tell me you're okay with it. I don't think cuttings that haven't produced new growth are likely to die or anything; this is more just to assure myself that they're healthy and established and whatever before I start distributing them.
3 (mrsubjunctiveX@outlook.com, without the "X")
4 Numbers are very limited for most of these, because you can only take just so many cuttings off of a small plant before you no longer have a plant.
5 And I'll still let you know which one before I mail anything, in case you realize that you have a violent hatred of "Sofa Fort" that you weren't aware of before, or whatever.
6 Bloom frequency is based just on what I've seen so far. This only covers a six-month period, plus they were up-potted at different times and were different ages, so the bloom frequency I've observed may or may not reflect what it will do for you in your home. Take it into account, but don't weigh it too heavily.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pretty picture: Rhyncholaelia digbyana

Not a lot to say about this orchid that hasn't already been covered in one of its previous appearances (mostly the first one): 2010, 2012. I will say this is probably a lot closer to the actual color of the flower than the previous years' attempts have been.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Anthurium no. 0415 "Darby Dragons"

So I totally admit that Darby is not attractive.


The bloom isn't an interesting color. It's super-small. Thrips love it. And as bad as the bloom is, the foliage is even worse:


The whole plant is just kind of garbage. But there's one thing about it that's kind of amazing, which is that it's fast. Like, record-setting, nine-months-ahead-of-schedule fast.


The time from sowing a seed to seeing a first bloom currently averages 26 months, for the plants that have bloomed so far. And that's likely to keep increasing; I've seen one other new bud from a plant sown in 2013,1 and there have been a few blooms from late 2012, but those don't do much to push the average bloom time lower.2 Darby does. Darby is in fact a record, I think: a mere 14 months from sow to first bloom.3

Which is great news, or at least would be if Darby didn't otherwise suck so much. I've decided to wait for a second bloom before deciding what to do with her, and I might try pollinating her on the off chance that she'd have less awful children, but . . . well, don't get too attached to Darby. I probably won't even try to sell her.

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1 Specifically 0357 "Rhea Litré," who will be the subject of a later post.
2 The blooms with late-2012 sow dates would be 0334 "Jean Poole," 0329 "Gladys Panzarov," 0330 "Faye Quinette," 0346 "Lois Carmen DiNominatre" (bloom still in progress), 0344 "Formica Dinette," 0335 "Donna Fanuday" (bud aborted), and 0597 "Raven" (in progress), who produced their first buds at the ages of 25, 26, 27, 27, 27, 28, and 29 months, respectively.
3 The previous record-holder was 0282 "Dave Trading," at 15 months.
There's also a special case with 0058 "Betty Larsony," who might have started a bud at the age of 12 months, but it was never completely clear whether there was a bud or not, and if there were a bud, it never opened. In an earlier post, I credited one of the early blooms to Betty, but subsequent investigation showed that it most likely belonged to 0059 "Bijoux Tuit" and was misattributed. So Betty probably doesn't count as being faster than Dave.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Anthurium no. 0132 "Eve Stropper"

I hadn't been expecting to like Eve -- I've seen enough pinkish-red blooms by now that they're kind of boring,1 plus I don't care for spadices that match the spathes, as a rule. But she surprised me.


The first bloom on Eve is surprisingly large, it's stayed more or less flat, and while there have been thrips, they only left a couple marks on the spathe, and mostly appear to have left it alone. She's even started a second bud already.


And the leaves aren't amazing or anything, but they're not bad. So Eve's a keeper. Too bad I don't have room for another 6-inch Anthurium. (Why are Craigslist Iowans not interested in two-foot-tall Coffea arabica seedlings? I have SOOOOOOO MANY.)

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1 This mostly refers to 0046 "Aurora Boreanaz," who I have only recently realized photographs inconsistently because there are two different seedlings in the same pot, which I probably would never have figured out had they not both decided to bloom at once. In the other cases where multiple Anthurium seedlings got planted together, either one seedling has taken over the pot and squeezed the other out of existence, or the seedlings are living together comfortably but only one has matured enough to bloom. One of Aurora's plants produces pink-red / pink-purple blooms, and the other produces red / dark-purple blooms:
I could separate them and assign a new number to one of them, I suppose, but since the difference between the two is mainly just that one is lighter than the other, and because separating them would kind of screw up my whole numbering system, I think I'm just going to continue to think of them as both being Aurora. Maybe "Aurora-red" and "Aurora-pink," if I need to differentiate.
Besides both of the "Aurora Boreanaz"es, Eve is most similar to 0108 "Deena Sequins," 0110 "Delta Badhand," and 0116 "Eileen Dover," all four of which I suspect are NOID purple x 'Orange Hot' crosses. Eve's seed parent is 'Gemini,' so it can't be a fifth one of those, but my guess is that it's getting the coloration from 'Orange Hot,' since the NOID purple usually shows up as a purple spadix. Therefore, my guess is 0132 "Eve Stropper" = 'Gemini' x 'Orange Hot.' No way to find out at this point, of course. And it possibly doesn't even matter. But I like trying to figure it out anyway.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pretty picture: Paphiopedilum Petula's Peacock

Sorry about the lack of a post on Friday; I was working on one, but it wasn't coming together properly, and I didn't have a backup.

Anyway. I'm not crazy about the way this photo turned out, but this is one of the dark Paphiopedilums from this year's show that I was talking about a few posts ago. You'll see a more impressive one in June.


Paphiopedilum Petula's Peacock = Paphiopedilum Ruby Peacock x Paphiopedilum Petula's Mystery (Ref.)


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Anthurium no. 0330 "Faye Quinette"

I feel like I should probably get this out of the way right at the beginning: Faye is more or less impossible to photograph. Keep that in mind.

Faye's the brown one. You remember the brown one. Super-slow to develop, which was even more agonizing than normal because I was anxious to see how the bloom would turn out. But so here it is:


As sometimes happens, the front and back of the spathe are different colors. The back stayed more or less the same medium wood-brown throughout the bud development, and only started to change after the spathe had been fully open for a while. The spathe interior is a dull light orange. This is the most accurate photo I could get that shows both colors at once:


I was sort of braced for Faye to be awesome, and I was sort of prepared for her to be terrible, but this is neither of those, so I'm not sure what to feel.


What I actually got is probably more pleasant-looking than what I would have had if the interior matched the exterior. If nothing else, it doesn't look as dead as I'd thought it might. Which is possibly good. And I like that it's something new and different, even if it's not quite as different as I was expecting. We lucked out with the contrasting spadix, too: a matching spadix on this color would have been gross. And the foliage is good.


It's just that it's a little too pretty to be ugly, and a little too ugly to be pretty.


The other thing this means is that I probably didn't have to get 'Midori' last summer after all, since I apparently already had a plant that produces chlorophyll in the spathes. The seed parent is the NOID red, which even if the spathes on the NOID red aren't particularly dark or brownish, they're dark enough that it seems plausible that that's where the green is coming from. (For the orange, there's really only one plausible choice -- 'Orange Hot,' which seems to have been involved in most or all of the seedlings with orange blooms.1) Though 'Midori' is now kind of exciting on her own, since I'm pretty sure the first bloom of 'Midori' that I pollinated had the NOID red as the pollen parent. The seedlings from that cross2 could, in theory, wind up red, red-brown, green, or tan.


So what do you think? Pretty? Ugly? Neither? Both? Interesting? "Interesting?"3

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1 'Orange Hot' is the seed parent for 0120 "Eliza Boutisecksis" and 0031 "Sylvester," both of which are solidly orange, as well as the orange-then-pink 0118 "Elijah Sturdabowtit."
0580 "Marsha Marsha Marsha" looks orange so far, but has not yet opened a bud, so that's a tentative confirmation of the theory: her seed parent is 'Orange Hot' also.
The only orange blooming seedling that doesn't work with this theory is 0329 "Gladys Panzarov," but whatever explains Faye also explains Gladys, since they're siblings.
The strangest thing, for me, is that 'Orange Hot,' despite the name, is barely orange at all. I mean, Eliza, Sylvester, Elijah, Marsha, and Gladys are all way more decisively orange than 'Orange Hot.' Which makes me very curious about why it's named that. Was "Peach Hot' taken?
2 Only four of which are official so far: 1033 "Phoenix," 1092 "Mia Amor," 1093 "Luna Stones," and 1094 "Ella Vawaydego." Here's a recent picture of Phoenix:


I do still have some seedlings from this cross still in the germination containers, though.
3 I.e., I hate it but I don't want to say so to your face like this so I'll say something ambiguous and let you decide what you want it to mean.