Thursday, May 24, 2012

Araceae Triumphant

For the first time in ages (possibly ever), the plants in my collection from the Araceae outnumber the plants from the Asparagaceae, by a 269 to 229 margin.1

If you don't want to blow the picture up to read it, we're talking about the two columns at the far left.

How this happened is that I potted up a bunch more Anthurium seedlings (and one Aglaonema seedling) on Monday, winding up with 269 aroids as opposed to 229, um, whatever plants in the Asparagaceae are called. So I now have 127 baby Anthuriums in the basement, which is enough to put the Araceae over the top by numbers. Maybe also by weight (some of the Aglaonemas are pretty big), but thankfully my obsession with plant-counting does not yet extend to tracking their weights, just numbers.

Speaking of which, here's an updated graph of the number of plants in the house:

It looks from this like maximum capacity is somewhere in the 900s: more than that and the weaker or more demanding plants select themselves out of existence; less than that and I get itching to acquire or propagate more. It's nice to have an answer to that, finally. I'd been wondering.

Finally, here's a picture of the seedlings currently. It's not a great picture, admittedly (it's turned out to be incredibly difficult to get a decent picture -- this is my third or fourth try), but you'll get the idea.

They don't normally live outside; I was hoping this would be a good way to get a good photo of them all together, but it wasn't.

On the theory that I'm going to need mnemonics to keep track of which of these I've watered and which ones I haven't, I'm planning to give them all pretend cultivar names.2 The first 31 got the names of real-life drag queens;3 I'm not sure what to do with the remaining 96, but I'm open to suggestions.


1 The top ten families:
1. Araceae (mostly Anthurium, Philodendron, Aglaonema) - 269
2. Asparagaceae (mostly Aloe, Chlorophytum, Alworthia, Agave, Dracaena, Gasteraloe) - 229
3. Cactaceae (mostly Hatiora, Schlumbergera, Selenicereus) - 83
4. Gesneriaceae (mostly Episcia, Nematanthus) - 69
5. Bromeliaceae (mostly Cryptanthus) - 60
6. Euphorbiaceae (mostly Euphorbia) - 46
7. Apocynaceae (mostly Hoya, Stapelia) - 37
8. Crassulaceae (mostly Crassula, Sedum) - 31
9. Piperaceae (Peperomia) - 27
10. Begoniaceae (all Begonia) - 26
2 The tags in the pots have numbers, the name of the seed parent, and the date they were started, but only the numbers are unique, and I doubt numbers alone are going to be that easy for me to remember. There's very little chance that any of these will wind up as actual cultivar names -- it's something of a long shot to think they're going to make it to blooming size at all, much less be desirable and interesting -- so I may as well pretend if it amuses me to do so.
3 (Drag queen names just seem appropriate for Anthuriums. Maybe it's just me.)


Loona said...

name them after Pokémon!
there are hundreds of them, you can even leave those you don't like out :D

Bret said...

Is there a Divine? If so I kind of want it just so I can imagines an anthurium plant singing "You Think You're a Man" to all my other plants.

mr_subjunctive said...


I did consider it. I don't know if I could use them for real cultivar names or not (I assume they're trademarked), but there are certainly enough of them.


Yup. #10.

orchideya said...

Pokemons sound fun! I was going to suggest superheroes and villains.
Here is the list of them:

davelybob said...

Roller Derby has a bunch of great names you could steal.

davelybob said...

well, if there is an Anthurium "Divine", you mat as well go through all of Divine's characters as well. Anthurium "Babs Johnson", Anthurium "Dawn Davenport", "Francine Fishpaw", etc, etc...

Pat said...

Have you included Chiwetel Ejiofor's character Lola from Kinky Boots? He may have been playing a part but he did it so well.

Lily Savage is the only other who comes to mind from over here.

I can't think of anything else that would fit so well as drag queens.

Unless it could be synthetic food colouring. Tartrazine, Allura Red, Azorubine, etc.

mr_subjunctive said...


I haven't actually seen any movies with Divine in them


The problem with using dye names is that, at least in the official guidelines for orchid naming, one is not supposed to use "misleading" names, and I don't know what color any of these plants bloom, and won't for a long time. Obviously that's not going to be an issue for quite some time, if ever, but since it takes them so long to reach blooming size, and since a few years is plenty long enough for me to get attached to names, it's best if I avoid colors altogether, I think.

I found a listing of roller derby names on-line after davelybob's suggestion, and have been slowly going through the 38,000+ names therein, which I think is going to be more than adequate to name the plants I've got so far, plus they overlap somewhat with the drag names (it's definitely a different sensibility overall, but close), so the plants I have at the moment are probably covered.

Zach said...

I am so very glad to hear this. You must inform me in the future if Asparagaceae (or any other family) gets close to rivaling your collection of Araceae. If so, I will promptly send you some new plants.

mr_subjunctive said...


The Araceae are probably safe as long as I'm still potting up newly-germinated Anthurium seedlings, but I'll keep this in mind. Certainly if the Asparagaceae look poised to move against the aroids, you'll be the first to hear about it.