Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New plant

I had planned on buying something at Wallace's Garden Center (Bettendorf, IA) even before we left the house. I like Wallace's -- they took me seriously once, long ago, their selection is generally healthy and well-maintained, and they've never banned me from the store.1 I didn't know what I would be buying, but I was going to try to come up with something.

I'd sort of been expecting an Agave, since I seem to be having an Agave phase, and since I've gotten Agaves from Wallace's in the past,2 but they didn't have many, and the one that was the best size and price is one I'd already bought from them. I'm also unexpectedly appreciative of Epipremnum aureum lately, but they didn't have any varieties of that that I didn't already have either. So it wound up being an Anthurium.

This is, of course, ridiculous, since I already had 224 Anthuriums (out of 883 plants total). I mean, if there was any genus I didn't need more of, it would be Anthuriums. But it seemed like something new. I have Anthuriums that bloom white, pink, orange-pink, orange, red, purple, and red-purple, but I did not yet have one that bloomed white with red flecks.

So this seemed like a chance to add even more genetic diversity to the group. The ID tag wasn't helpful; it just said that it was an Anthurium, produced by Twyford, and asexual propagation was prohibited. Where a cultivar name should have gone, it just said "KS.1." I looked that up when I got home, and found nothing relevant on Google. Twyford doesn't even seem to have a publicly-accessible website anymore. I did eventually find a list of plant patents owned by Twyford. Only one plant on that list was an Anthurium with white-and-red-spotted spathes, 'Peppermint Gemini.' This was initially very exciting to me, since 'Gemini' and 'White Gemini' have produced the most seeds by a huge margin,3 and it seemed reasonable to think that 'Peppermint Gemini' would be equally prolific, but when I got into the details of the patent, it turned out that 'Peppermint Gemini' was a sport of 'White Gemini,' which itself was a sport of 'Gemini.' So all three look different, and apparently all three are different on some level, but they're also so closely related to one another that crossing 'Peppermint Gemini' with something else is not that likely to get me anything that I couldn't have gotten with 'White Gemini' or 'Gemini.' Disappointing.

On the plus side, it was only like $5, the flowers are pretty, and if it is more or less genetically equivalent to plants I've already got, this is at least a way for me to produce even more seeds even more rapidly. Which is something that I totally needed. [eye-roll]


1 Yes, it's that easy to get me to like your store. Pretend you find me interesting, talk to me briefly, carry plants I like and then give them appropriate care, and don't throw me out. (Talking to you, Pierson's.)
2 Specifically A. bovicornuta 'Reggae Time,' now dangerously and alarmingly huge, and A. 'Blue Glow.'
3 I don't have the exact numbers handy, but the last time I checked, the seed parent was either 'White Gemini' or 'Gemini' for about 80% of the seedlings I've got in the basement right now. A few plants consistently abort their fruit before the berries are fully mature, a couple will produce a couple seeds every now and again but seem to be difficult to pollinate, and there are a couple that steadfastly refuse to produce fruit no matter what I do.


College Gardener said...

That beauty was only $5? Humph, around where I live one cannot get a decent Anthurium under $20, if anyone carries them at all.

mr_subjunctive said...

College Gardener:

Technically, $5.99. (There was a 20% off sale on houseplants, plus 7% sales tax = $5.13.) Which is extremely cheap for around here, too. (The ex-job occasionally sells 4-inch Anthuriums for $11-15, though six years ago, they often had them for $7. It's not clear what's responsible for the price jump.)

Lisa Palone said...

Do anthuriums root easily? My office has a lovely red one.

mr_subjunctive said...

Lisa Palone:

It's not the easiest plant to root, no. Water-rooting pieces is fairly easy, but they don't transfer to soil very well, and trying to root pieces directly in soil hasn't worked out for me at all. Though I haven't been trying very hard -- usually it's been more like oh, I broke a piece off this one. I'll stick it back in the soil and hope it roots. Which doesn't work very well for most plants.

Liza said...

What a great price. Here, they run $16 for 6" pots. Ridiculous!

Vertical Gardener said...

I got an anthurium at Ikea of all places for around $7 a while back. Your new one is really pretty--I've never seen one in that color.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous plant! Here in T.O a plain jane 4' sells for about $10. Have you heard anything about the colour-infused anthuriums from Holland? I keep bugging my suppliers and so far nothing in Canada. I want those saffron dyed suckers!


mr_subjunctive said...


Et tu, Jenny? You know how I feel about the dye-injected plants.

Anonymous said...

I just purchased the same plant. (They are $5.99 at Lowes on Old St. Augustine Road in Jacksonville, Fl, if anyone is looking.) Could it be a Shibori? Here is a link to Google Images: http://www.google.com/search?q=spathe&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=l2qAUZuOIITa8ATr8IB4&ved=0CEQQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=596#tbm=isch&sa=1&q=anthurium+shibori&oq=anthurium+shibori&gs_l=img.3...20578.24709.0.24988.,or.r_qf.&cad=b&sei=t_uHUemWJYn88gSiz4GQBA