Sunday, January 25, 2015

Schlumbergera seedling no. 083

This is the seedling we've all been waiting for. I mean, #025 "Clownfish" is great, #054 "Helpful Gesture" is unexpectedly pleasant as well, #057 "Pyrotechnic" has been growing on me, and there are a decent number of keepers in the bunch overall. But this one is perhaps actually something special.

In fact, it's special enough that I can't quite settle on a name.

TinEye had lots of the usual red / orange / pink stuff -- cars and car parts (I had no idea that people were so into taking pictures of tail light replacement lenses), leaves, flowers -- and the only thing that was coming up more often than normal were images of parades. Lots of costumed dancers from Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, that sort of thing. Also there were one or two shots from burlesque shows. But I feel like this deserves something more . . . distinct.

It colored up pretty dramatically as it opened: the above two photos were taken only a day apart.

Close-up, this is the most amazing Schlumbergera I have ever seen. From further away, the magenta and orange kind of blur together to make red. But the petals actually do shade through white, orange, red, and magenta. If this is a normal and common thing for Schlumbergera petals to do, I apologize for my enthusiasm, but I've somehow missed noticing it before.

The only bad characteristic of the blooms is that there aren't very many of them. How many? Just the one in the photos. There are no buds in progress. Granted, the plant is still young, and it didn't have a great environment for trying to bloom this year -- late repotting, limited light, dry air -- so presumably the next time will be better. Or at least we can hope.

So anyway. I've spent an absurd amount of time in search of a name, and the best I've been able to come up with thus far is a Beavis and Butthead reference: "Uh Hey Baby." This almost works for me -- it sounds stupid, yes, but that was pretty much what my inner Butthead said when I saw it opened for the first time, so it seems right somehow. The downside of this is that much of the charm of "Uh Hey Baby" is the way Butthead pronounces "baby" when he says it, and it wouldn't really make any sense to people who aren't familiar with the show. Not that making sense to people is necessarily a high priority for variety names of plants anyway, as we've seen over the years, with the orchids. I don't know.

Also under consideration to some degree or another, in order from least to most appealing:

"Burlesque" (yawn)
"Night Cheese" (a 30 Rock reference, which is pleasingly nonsensical but mostly serves as a reminder that when brainstorming Schlumbergera names, there are no bad ideas)
"Rainbow Sherbet" (there actually is a company making a white, orange, and purple sherbet,1 and it was a favorite of mine as a child. I've even mentioned it on the blog before. Alas, there's already a Hibiscus 'Rainbow Sherbet,' and the colors of the Schlumbergera don't match the colors of the sherbet particularly well.2)
"Saint Beavis" (I don't know where this one came from. It was apparently important to me at one time to have a Beavis and Butthead connection. Incidentally, there are "Saint Beavis" t-shirts available for sale on-line. Which raises more questions than it answers.)
"Tamika Flynn" (a Welcome to Night Vale reference, which has going for it that: Tamika is at least the sort of person who should be getting things named for her, and the name is not particularly ridiculous if you don't know who Tamika is. Problems: she's not a particularly major character and it's not a particularly major show, so most people would not get the reference, and if nobody's going to get the reference then I should maybe not bother.)
"Breakin' the Law" (also B&B-related, but a Judas Priest reference before that. I kind of like this just because the seedling is doing something that I didn't know Schlumbergeras could do, so it seems semi-appropriate.)
"Sweetie Darling" (an Absolutely Fabulous reference, with all the same problems as "Uh Hey Baby" plus the problem that it sounds a little overly precious. In the show, it works because you know Edina doesn't remotely mean it; out of context, it sounds cloying and gross to me. It's nevertheless probably the strongest contender I have after "Uh Hey Baby.")

I'm not in love with any of these options, so if there's something you've always wanted to see a plant named, throw it out there. No bad ideas in brainstorming, I might like it, etc. Or cast a vote for one of the other options. Otherwise I'm probably going to default to "Uh Hey Baby."

Seedling #083 also has a plain orange seedling in it. If not for its proximity to the most amazing seedling to date, #083B would seem pleasant enough.

TinEye gave me at least one photo of a bonfire, so I'm going with "Guy Fawkes Night" for the name.

More seedlings to come, though the three I know about at the moment are all varying shades of orange, so the remaining posts will probably be anticlimactic. Prepare yourself accordingly.


1 Though I think the name "rainbow" is pushing it, if you've only got three colors involved and one of them is white.
2 (Not that that stopped the Hibiscus people. Should also note that the Hibiscus name has no actual relevance: the same name can be used for multiple genera as far as I know. But again, we're going for something *special* with this one, so if someone's already used it for something else, that makes it a lot less appealing to me.


Ginny Burton said...

"Northern Lights?" "Aurora Borealis?" If you're a fan of the wonderful old Pogo cartoons, then how about "Nora Alice?" (Roar, roar for Nora/Nora Alice in the night/For she has seen Aurora Borealis burning bright.)

It's a humdinger, whatever you call it. Absolutely gorgeous. Here's hoping that it makes you a millionaire!

Diana at Garden on the Edge said...

Fantastic flowers today! I like BOTH of them.

As far as names go: I like (and get) both Tamika Flynn and Sweetie Darling but you could also go with "AbFab Darling" or even "AbFab" (one of my favorite things to say in public when I want to go over people's heads).

And Tamika (the character) ROCKS.

Paul said...

A very lovely flower indeed.

Personally, I'd probably go for something like Mardi Gras or even Masquerade because of all the vividly colored costumes worn.

You could also go for "Gaga". For those into Lady Gaga, there would be the connection to her well known flamboyant costumes. For those who have no clue who she is, the name would still make sense -- a flower to go "gaga" over. (Which also seems to accurately describe your own state of mind with this one. :D )

And while on states of mind ... you could also use "delirious," "deliriously happy", "capitivation" .....

E said...

awesome seedling. congrats!

Claude said...

I like AbFab darling. or... just showing my age here... Cyndi Lauper. .. because it reminds me of her hair.

Pat the Plant said...

Apart from Elizabeth Taylor and Diana, how many of the people with flowers named after them do you know? Give them Tamika Flynn and let them google for enlightenment. They may become fans.

Paul said...

LOL! Claude, I had forgotten about Cyndi! She would be a great candidate for that flower! (And they're both "So Unusual"!

Paul said...

Oh, forgot to add ...

Pat, if you look at rose or orchid hybrids, you can find quite a few named after women.

mr_subjunctive said...

Now that it's come up, "She's So Unusual" might actually work as a name for this one, or some other seedling down the road.

mr_subjunctive said...


I think Pat was meaning that most of the plants named after real women are named after women you're not actually familiar with personally or publicly. So there's no real reason not to go with Tamika Flynn just 'cause a lot of people won't know who she is, because a lot of people don't know who Helen Brown (or Robert Strait, or Crystelle Smith, etc.) is either.

Nadya W-G said...

That is one bloody gorgeous flower. How about "Psychedelic Bunny"?

Anonymous said...

"Subjunctive Surprise Mark"!

(In primary school we were told this was the name for the exclamation point.)

Or "Option Semi-Colon" …

Anonymous said...

I didn't read all the comments yet but I think that number 083 looks like a Phoenix Phial.

mr_subjunctive said...


A what now?