Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Late April Anthurium (and Schlumbergera) Seedling Update

A few exciting things this time around, in that I've seen some new colors among the Anthuriums. In a couple cases, I'm puzzled about how the color even happened, genetically. And, oh, there are also some new Schlumbergeras except they're all orange.

Chad Michaels (#005)
Seed parent: 'Gemini'

This picture doesn't capture it well, because there's no regular pink-red spathe to compare it to (and my camera auto-adjusted the color), but Chad is absurdly dark red, and the spadix was yellow-green when it first opened. Usually I can at least guess how unexpected colors might have happened, but not in this particular case. I may have better theories once I see Chad's siblings bloom.

The little light-colored dots in the spathe are surface features, not reflections from deeper down,1 but in photos, they sort of look like metallic flakes.2 When I uploaded these pictures to the computer, I was struck by how much Chad resembled like a car painted candy apple red. (e.g.; Google Image Search also has some great pictures for "candy apple red," like whatever this is.)

A less appealing comparison: what with being dark dark red, irregularly shaped, and shiny, it also kind of looks from a distance like a small chunk of liver, or some other meat, sitting on top of a red-brown stick.

A poorly-cropped natural-light comparison of the plain-red "Sawyer Ad" (#245, left) with "Chad Michaels" (#005, right), which hopefully makes it a little clearer how much darker and more meat-like Chad is than any of the other seedlings.

Sylvester (#031)
Seed parent: 'Orange Hot'

Sylvester is my first real orange, and as far as I'm concerned improves twice on its seed parent. 'Orange Hot' is orange-like, but it's really between pink and orange, leaning a little to the pink side. It's not a color I'm fond of, and it's close enough to my skin color to make me feel a little uneasy about being around it. I'm not sure why anyone thought it was a nice enough cultivar to market, but I suppose I could just be growing it wrong.

'Orange Hot' also has a matching spadix. I sometimes like matching spadices, but not usually, and I definitely don't in 'Orange Hot.' So getting a real orange and a contrasting spadix so early in the process feels lucky.

The only thing I object to is the size of the blooms. They're not the smallest (that's probably still "Heather Boah," #149, which I talked about last time3), but they're definitely on the small end of normal.

Elijah Sturdabowtit (#118)
Seed parent: 'Orange Hot'

This is the second bloom for Elijah. (The first came and went so quickly that the only photo I got was when the spathe was barely open.) As you can see, he takes after his mother in having a matching spadix. He's also a lot less decisively orange: the first bloom turned sort of ambiguously orange-pink shortly after opening. That seems to be happening to this one too. Not my favorite, but it's new, and I suppose it's sorta interesting.

Mario Speedwagon (#200)
Seed parent: NOID purple

I have been waiting for so long for a real purple purple. Can't tell yet if Mario is it, but he's as close as I've gotten so far. The shade of purple could be better -- the color is almost exactly the same as the NOID purple he came from -- but I'll take it.

Like Elijah, Mario seems to be turning pink as he ages, especially down the center of the spathe. The above photo was taken on April 18. Five days later, the same inflorescence looked like this:

Some of the difference may be because of different lighting, so I'm not sure that the change has been quite as drastic as this, but there's undeniably been some drift toward pink.

Audrey Quest (#063)
Seed parent: 'Gemini'

Audrey has one of my favorite names,4 but I included her in the post mainly because of her spathe's strange proportions: the spathe is 45 mm tall and 57 mm wide. (The perspective in the photo exaggerates this, but it's really a W:H ratio of 1.27. Usually the ratio is about 0.9, ±0.1. So it's very squat-looking.)

I like when they get weird.

Rhea Listick (#231)
Seed parent: 'White Gemini'

The bud got this far, and then started going brown from the inside out. Womp womp. Sucks, too, 'cause I had especially been looking forward to it.

At a guess, Rhea looks like she was headed for something in the pink-purple range, like "Alyssa Edwards" (#035), "Carson Trucks" (#085), and "Ross Koz" (#234). We'll find out eventually: there's already another bud on the plant.

Jujubee (#280)
Seed parent: 'White Gemini'

Not quite red, not quite pink. Nice in person, though the spathe is, again, pretty small. I'd hoped for something more amazing from Juju, since she's one of my favorite real-life queens, but these things happen.

Wes Coast (#273)
Seed parent: 'White Gemini'

Russ Teanale (#239)
Seed parent: 'White Gemini'

Wes and Russ are awfully similar, but that contrasting spadix makes a big difference to the overall impression. (For the record, Russ is pretty much superior in every other respect too: larger, glossier, better proportions, better foliage.)

All Anthurium buds as of 2014 Apr 15:5

Top row: "Colin Ambulance" (#097), "Erin Dirtylondry" (#126), "Jillian Jamm" (#216), "Wanda Reulthemal" (#271)
2nd row: "Rhoda Badcek" (#232), "Yvette Horizon" (#275), "Laganja Estranja" (#281), "Rowan DeBoate" (#235)
3rd row: "Anne Pursand" (#283), "Barbara Seville" (#066), "Sarah Problem" (#244), "Mason Pepperspray" (#202)
4th row: "Eliza Boutisecksis" (#120), "Delta Badhand" (#110), "Aurora Boreanaz" (#046) twice
5th row: "Elijah Sturdabowtit" (#118), "Patty Cake" (#223), "Alyssa Edwards" (#035), "Aurora Boreanaz" (#046) again
6th row: "Eileen Dover" (#116), "Bijoux Tuit" (#059), "Carson Trucks" (#085), "Jujubee" (#280)
7th row: "Deena Sequins" (#108), "Rudy Day" (#238), "Ross Koz" (#234), "Rhea Listick" (#231)
8th row: "Betty Larsony" (#058), "Peaches Christ" (#026), "Selma Carr" (#247), "Dave Trading" (#282)
9th row: "Alexis Mateo" (#002), "Chad Michaels" (#005), "Mario Speedwagon" (#200) twice
Not pictured: "Anna Mae Hemensouz" (#203)

As for the Schlumbergeras, the flowers come and go fast enough that I can't always get pictures. Consequently, I'm pretty sure some seedlings have bloomed without me being aware of it. But here are the better photos from April 9 and 15:

Top to bottom: 11, 13, 18. Something about number 13 makes my back hurt. It's like a Schlumbergera as bred by Rob Liefield. (This picture in particular.)

Number 12 got the best photos this go-round, though. Two photos, because it was impossible to choose which one I liked better:

And that's all for another four or five weeks. The next seedling of interest is #097 / "Colin Ambulance." His mother is the NOID purple, but so far, he's sort of a pale peach color. Whatever he does after this, it'll be a surprise.


1 The metallic sparkles and sheens of some plants, like Begonia, Selaginella, and Aglaonema, come from the way the cells are layered, and the air pockets between them, and really are reflections from deeper down in the leaf.
2 (It may help to view the photo full size.)
3 Not mentioned last time: Heather's spathes are nearly as dark as Chad's. I didn't think so when the spathe first opened, so that may be a recent development.
4 My official favorite Anthurium seedling name (and, by extension, drag queen name) belongs to #543, "Estee Lauder Harder Faster."
5 Except for #002 / "Alexis Mateo," which is from 16 Mar 2014. I included it because I'd skipped it earlier; that's the plant that made a bud and then snapped it off on its own by getting the bud caught in the cataphyll, without any interference from me.


Laura @ Raise Your Garden said...

You actually name your plants. That's great.

I just call them plant, or coffee plant, or here fig tree get your water.

But then again...the name of your blog should have given me this hint. oops!

mr_subjunctive said...

Laura @ Raise Your Garden:

Well, I don't name all the plants. Only the Anthurium seedlings (and one Schlumbergera), because I figured I would need the mnemonic help[1] and because it amused me.


[1] (Much easier to remember that Becky and Lance are blooming but Todd isn't, than it is to remember that 253 and 233 are blooming but 235 isn't.)

Anonymous said...

Do you have enough space to grow a second generation of that orange anthurium? It would be interesting to see what your F2 generation yields.

mr_subjunctive said...


No, I don't have enough space for an F2 generation, but I doubt that will stop me. It's never stopped me from accumulating plants before, anyway.

One problem with getting a second generation that I hadn't anticipated: not all of the plants appear to be fertile. The problem may turn out to be that I'm trying to pollinate them at the wrong times, or that certain combinations might not be interfertile even though all the plants individually are capable of pollinating and being pollinated; I'm not sure. But in any case, I've been making random swipes with the ol' paintbrush for quite a while now, and some of the spadices have yet to produce any berries, though I have managed crosses on about 5 plants.

(I'll stop with the random swiping when I've got more choices about who to pair with whom. As of last night, I had a total of 29 open flowers on 27 plants, and lots of those are too old to be accepting pollen or too young to be shedding it,[1] so making crosses on purpose is still kind of beyond my capabilities.)


[1] Or the other way around. I can never remember whether the pollen-shedding comes first or last. Either way.

mr_subjunctive said...

Anonymous again:

We're unlikely to see any blooms from an F2 generation until about 2017 at the earliest, so don't hold your breath.

Rebecca said...

And when are you going to start selling these? Space could be made for F2 by getting rid of some of the uninteresting/identical F1 plants...

mr_subjunctive said...


I intend to sell some at some point, but I'm not sure when I'll start or which ones they'll be. There are quite a few medium pink spathe / dark pink spadix ones like Wes Coast, Wanda Reulthemal, Erin Dirtylondry, etc., and there are also several red / yellow ones (Rudy Day, Peaches Christ, Sal Monella). I don't probably need as many of either group as I have, so some of those will probably be sold or given away eventually. I've thought about how the selection process will work, but no immediate plans: out of the 180 seedlings in 4-inch pots, only 48 have ever tried to bloom, and I've only seen blooms develop and open on 32 of those so far. So I still don't have a great idea of what I even have here.

There are about ten I'm pretty sure I'll be keeping for an F2:

Ross Koz (pink-purple spathe, yellow spadix)
Alyssa Edwards (pink-purple / yellow)
Carson Trucks (pink-purple / yellow)
Sylvester (orange / yellow)
Bijoux Tuit (red / yellow)
Sawyer Ad (red / yellow)
Mario Speedwagon (purple / purple)
Chad Michaels (dark red / green)
Alexis Mateo (for foliage; probably dark red / ?)
Deena Sequins (red / purple)

When I do decide I want to start selling them, it's unlikely that I'll announce it on the blog. One reason for this is that any plants I'll be selling are going to be smaller, less floriferous, or otherwise crappier than the ones I'm keeping. It's okay to sell them to Craigslist people, because Craigslist people won't know they're missing out on anything, but it'd feel weird to be sending those particular seedlings to blog readers, knowing that the recipients know they're paying money for inferior plants.

I mean, if you think you might nevertheless want one, let me know by e-mail and I can put you on a list to notify whenever it happens, but it won't necessarily be this year.