Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday morning Sheba and/or Nina picture

Yet another Sheba question for the hive mind.

Over the last maybe 2 or 3 weeks, Sheba's been developing a bald spot on her right side, toward her back leg. We didn't think anything of it at first -- maybe she was just losing her winter coat especially fast in that area or something -- but as time's gone by and it's gotten worse, we're starting to wonder what's going on.

I've done some googling, and there isn't any clear-cut diagnosis.
  • There's a tiny bit of dandruff, but that might be the same amount she has everywhere else, as far as I know -- I've never gone looking for it before. 
  • Her bedding has been washed recently, and she's had a bath recently, but this started before both of those things. 
  • Haven't seen any fleas (not that we necessarily would, but still). 
  • Her diet hasn't changed significantly. 
  • It doesn't seem especially itchy (she does bite at it, but she always did -- it doesn't seem to me like she's biting it any more than she used to). 
  • It's only on the one side; the other side looks perfectly normal. 
  • It's never happened before. 
  • There haven't been any injections at that spot.
  • She hasn't been under any unusual stresses, to the best of my knowledge.
We are, obviously, willing to take her to the vet if need be, but is this something that we actually need a vet for? What does everybody think?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Random plant event: Strelitzia reginae

Quick note re: plant selling:

I have added Agave victoriae-reginae and Salvia elegans to the officially-available list. ($4 and $2.50, respectively) Murraya paniculata is now on the eventually-available list.

Now the actual post:

I don't know whether it will be clear what's going on here, but: that's a single Strelitzia reginae leaf, which has tried to turn into two leaves about halfway up. I doubt that it means anything, but I thought it was kind of cool anyway: I am occasionally tempted to think that I've seen everything my plants are capable of doing, and it's nice to be shown that that's not true.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pretty picture: Prosthechea Green Hornet

I spent pretty much the entire day on Monday writing e-mails to people and somehow still managed to get further and further behind as the day progressed. I don't remember having this kind of response in previous years.

Not -- he hastened to add -- that I'm complaining about it. Just saying that this is a bit more intense than I expected. Hooray, I guess.

Meanwhile, an orchid:

Yet another misspelled tag: this one said "Prosthecea," instead of Prosthechea. Not a very exciting error, but it still qualifies.

wrong tag count: 3
missing tag count: 1

But wait! There's more!

Prosthechea Green Hornet is apparently a fairly common orchid in commerce; the internet says it's a hybrid of P. cochleata and P. lancifolia, except that the internet also says P. lancifolia doesn't exist. Because the internet is frequently self-contradictory that way.

Older sources say Prosthechea Green Hornet is actually Encyclia Green Hornet, and that it's a hybrid of Encyclia cochleata and E. lancifolia. Plant List has heard of E. lancifolia, which it says is a synonym for P. cochleata var. cochleata.

Except that there are other opinions. Some people consider it actually Epidendrum; some like Anacheilium, some people aren't aware there's an issue yet and continue to go with Encyclia, and then there's the faction for Prosthechea. Sometimes lancifolia winds up trulla instead. So pretty much whatever name you favor, a majority of orchid taxonomy enthusiasts thinks you're wrong, wrong wrong.

Reading this thread at did absolutely nothing to clarify the situation, but it did bring something else into sharp focus for me, which is that there are very few things I find as tedious and frustrating as reading about orchid taxonomy arguments. Perhaps this is now something you and I have in common. Hooray! Orchids teaching people about themselves! Orchids bringing people together!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Selling and Trading

Okay. Well. The sell-trade post is completed at long last, and can be found via the link just underneath the header above ("Plants for Sale 2012") or you can just click here. The post should explain how the whole thing works, which plants are available, how they've behaved for me, which plants might be available later, and just about anything else you could possibly want to know; however, it is quite long, so before you start reading you should probably pack a light meal and some water, and wear something layered.

Syngonium wendlandii, 4" pot. $5.00 plus shipping.

If the last couple years are any indication, I am about to become very busy packing boxes and e-mailing people, so PATSP may not get back to full speed for a month or so, but I'll do my best.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pretty picture: Colmanara Wildcat 'Cheetah'

The tag said "Ons. (Colm) Wildcat 'Cheeta.'" Maybe not wrong wrong, but there's at least a typo, so now we're up to what, two wrong tags (and one no-tag) for the year. And we've only just begun.

Ons. is an abbreviation for Oncostele, which is apparently the same thing as Colmanara. I don't think I even want to know why there are two entirely different names for the same nothogenus: whatever the reason is, it will probably make me angry. So let's skip over that part.

I have, on rare occasions, tried to harness the power of the internet to break down a complicated hybrid orchid into its component species, and was thinking about doing so for this one, but someone's beaten me to it already. In the course of googling for something interesting to say about the orchid, I ran into this page, which gives most of the family tree, so it seems I've lucked out.

We've seen Colmanara Wildcat before at PATSP; one of my earliest orchid posts was for Colm. Wildcat 'Bobcat.'

In other news: I hope everyone is looking forward to tomorrow's debut of the sell-trade post as much as I'm looking forward to being done with it.