Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Schlumbergera seedling no. 182

Seedling 182 is an oddball; it's only bloomed twice so far, and the two flowers don't entirely make sense as the product of a single seedling. This is just sort of how the 2016-17 season has been, alas. Many of the seedlings this year have either been oddly inconsistent in bloom color, or they've been consistent, but diverged from previous years' blooms. 182's first bloom was a pretty typical red-orange / pink, except both colors were several shades lighter than any previous red-orange / pink,

and then the second bloom, three days later, was a much more common orange / light pink combo.

Probably the second bloom is the "real" color (with "real" here meaning "the color one would normally expect the flowers to be"), because that's less interesting than the other possible outcome, but until there's a tie-breaker I suppose we're free to imagine whatever we want, so let's go ahead and consider both possibilities.

Oh, it's also the first seedling from the NOID magenta to bloom. I'm a bit disappointed that this isn't more obvious from its appearance. (I've gotten flowers from ten of the NOID magenta seedlings, and only one looks it at all: the others were either white/white, or indistinguishable from some of the past 'Caribbean Dancer' seedlings. This is sort of abstractly interesting because it was unexpected, but obviously I'm disappointed.)

182A's blooms were also both a bit . . . I don't know how to describe it exactly. Frazzled-looking? "Ratty" would be overstating things, but it's somewhere in that neighborhood.

The name options this time around are mostly unfamiliar and goofy-sounding words: Kaylee (I said "mostly"), Divoon, Padparadscha, and Fazoozle. Kaylee is, of course, a reference to the character from Firefly:1 not only had I wanted to name a seedling for her anyway, but the first flower's colors were very close to the colors of the dress she wore in the episode "Shindig," though it's very difficult to get a screencap to prove that because the lighting in the relevant scenes tends to be tinted. The best image I could find, with a little modification:

Original image: I cropped this one, and lightened it a little.

The flower again, for comparison. You see the similarity, right?

Anyway. Divoon is simultaneously a reference to Jayne Mansfield and to the Siouxie and the Banshees song "Kiss Them for Me," which is . . . about Jayne Mansfield. I guess Mansfield liked to use the word. Why this seedling specifically? Well, the "Kiss Them for Me" video has a lot of light pinks and orangey-pinks in it.

Okay, maybe it's a little more purple than orange. But there's overlap. (Screencaps from the "Kiss Them for Me" video on YouTube.)

Padparadscha is to orangey-pink as ruby is to deep red, more or less.2 There doesn't seem to be a very precise definition of padparadscha; judging by the image search results I got from DuckDuckGo (most of which images appear to have come from the Natural Sapphire Company), it covers natural sapphires which are lavender, pinkish-purple, pink, pinkish-orange, light orange, orange, or reddish-orange. Which means it'd work as a name for pretty much any non-red Schlumbergera seedling I want, ever, but maybe this seedling in particular, since it is apparently capable of producing a range of colors.

First page of DuckDuckGo image search results for padparadscha. Cropped, resized, and rearranged (with considerable effort!) by mr_subjunctive.

And finally, Fazoozle, which I first encountered at MetaFilter, as an onomatopoeia for the sound an inflated but not tied-off balloon makes when it is released and goes flying around the room. Searching the net finds it also as the title of a short story,3 a username on a number of forums (which may or may not all belong to the same person), and a website that I didn't investigate because it seemed a little sketchy. Not sure what this means. From the balloon-related meaning, I thought it might be appropriate for a flower that was slightly disheveled.

So okay. I think I can drop Fazoozle; I liked it when I thought it was just the sound, but finding out about the other uses has kind of scared me off. And Divoon might be better suited to a pink or lavender-pink seedling.

Which leaves Kaylee or Padparadscha.


And that decision comes down to a question of what I think the "real" color of the blooms is likely to be, after all. If the first, lighter bloom is typical, then I want it to be Kaylee, otherwise Padparadscha. Historically, seedlings with really pale blooms seem to either stay the same, get darker, or flop back and forth between the two, and it seems like the lighter the first bloom, the more likely they are to get darker (e.g. 061A Leather Fairy) or alternate (e.g. 099A Dessert Room). So my guess is that 182A is going to wind up being a boring orange/pink in the long run, and therefore should probably be 182A Padparadscha even if I would otherwise prefer Kaylee.


1 (Played by Jewel Staite)
2 The mineral corundum (aluminum oxide) is colorless when pure, but natural corundum often contains impurities which impart a color. Chromium yields pink to red shades (rubies), vanadium turns them purple (purple sapphire), iron turns them light yellow or green, and iron with titanium yields blue (sapphire). I couldn't find any definitive statements about which elements are responsible for padparadscha, though I'd guess some combination of chromium (pink) and iron (yellow)?
3 In the collection Elza of Prague, by Mel Klein, which if I'm reading the synopses correctly the gist is that a man decides (threatens?) to name a child "Fazoozle" in order to spite an overbearing mother-in-law. Not sure if this makes it more suitable, or less suitable, as a seedling name.

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