Friday, November 21, 2008

Pretty picture: Goodaleara Pacific Truffle 'Surrogate Star'

You know those spam e-mails that included a bunch of random bits and pieces of other text, in the hopes that this would fool spam filters into thinking it was a legitimate message? The name for this particular orchid reminds me of that. Nobody who didn't already know what it was could hope to have a chance of guessing what a "Pacific Truffle Surrogate Star" might be (some kind of marine organism? a famous gourmand?).



Is this necessarily bad? No, not necessarily, but if orchid growers are truly out of meaningful combinations of words, then they may as well just go ahead and just use numbers, because there's really no point to perpetuating this word salad. Memorizing a bunch of digits in some particular order is not appreciably more difficult than memorizing a bunch of unconnected words in some particular order.

But this is nothing against the plant itself, of course, which is a perfectly nice plant as plants go. Goodaleara (Gdlra.) is a new combination for me, this one being derived from genes of Brassia, Cochlioda, Miltonia, Odontoglossum, and Oncidium. It looks a lot like some of the other orchids we've encountered, particularly the Beallara Marfitch 'Howard's Dream.'


6 comments:

buedamau said...

hi! i have one goodaleara too, but the 'eurostar' variety. i agree with you:the name seems from som road catalogue or something like that!
mine is finnaly loosing the last 3 flowers, do you know if it needs some special treatment now?
about yr list, i only know a few, but gardenias and begonia rex are definitely very hard to grow, at least for me!

our friend Ben said...

Well, given the bloom shape, I can see 'Surrogate Star'. It's the "Pacific Truffle" part that has me bewildered. Uh, "Truffle"? What were they thinking?!! Then again, maybe it's just a typo on the breeder's part for "Ruffle"...

arythrina said...

Beautiful! Really amazing how orchid genera can recombine so easily, isn't it? I always wondered how that doesn't challenge the very idea of what we consider a genus and a species within the orchid family (is family the correct level? I never remember)

My phalaenopsis are going crazy with spikes having spent the fall outdoors to shock them into good behavior. I just posted a bunch of root v. spike photos, and I will hopefully be able to follow up with real blooms in a couple of months :) orchids are not for immediate gratification...

telipogon said...

I think this genus used to be part of 'Beallara', i can't fathom why they feel the need to constantly change names all the time.

mr_subjunctive said...

According to the site I use for these kinds of information, Goodaleara and Beallara have the same pedigree, except for one thing: Goodaleara contains some Cochlioda genes and Beallara doesn't.

Paul said...

Rapid name changes are quite irritating to many hobbists. I know quite a few who choose to ignore them.

Taxonomists are using genetics to "help" classification. A "headache" is one of the kinder ways of describing things...