Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Schlumbergera seedling no. 250

I'm only just now noticing that most of the early-blooming seedlings from the 2017-18 season only produced one bloom. (I think 044A Iktsuarpok is the only exception so far?) I don't think previous years were like this, so it must mean something. Not necessarily something worth caring about, but something.

Anyway. So seedling 250A is another one of those: only one bloom. It's mostly interesting for its second-generation ancestry; it's another of the seedlings from 025A Clownfish.1

Name finalists: Apple Chankings, Glede, Maraschino, and Pat Benatar.

Apple Chankings is another term from the dialect dictionary I referred to in the post for 095A Pele's Lipstick. "Chankings" are the remains of a piece of fruit, like an apple, that are discarded and not eaten. The term seems to have been most widespread in northeastern New England. It's not really an appealing image for a flower, but I love that there's a term for this and that it sounds comical, so we'll at least consider it.

A Glede is a live (burning) coal, in the dialect of 1930s Pennsylvania. It's in modern dictionaries as a name for birds of prey generally, and the European kite (Milvus milvus) in particular. No idea if the two uses of the word are connected at all; the dialect book doesn't include any information about word origins.

Maraschino is in reference to the cherry, but it's sort of complicated: the original maraschino cherry was a sour cherry from the Marasca region in modern Croatia, and "maraschino" was the liqueur produced by distilling Marasca cherries, hence the name. Then somebody got the idea to preserve Marasca cherries by putting them in maraschino, and then people started cutting corners and preserving other varieties of cherries in maraschino liqueur, and eventually the term degenerated to the point where it was used for cherries preserved in pretty much anything, whether it contained alcohol or not.

Wikipedia says that in the U.S., maraschino cherries pretty much never involved cherries from Marasca in the first place (there only being just so many cherry trees in Marasca), and then when Prohibition began in 1920, cherries preserved in alcohol were no longer legal. So other processes for preserving cherries were developed, and then when Prohibition was lifted, for some reason the FDA redefined "maraschino cherry" to mean "cherries which have been dyed red, impregnated with sugar, and packed in a sugar syrup flavored with oil of bitter almonds or a similar flavor," possibly because that's what everybody had gotten used to during Prohibition.

So maraschino cherries aren't Maraschino cherries. Odds are you've never had actual Maraschino cherries.

And Pat Benatar is just kind of awesome, or at least was the last time I checked, last year, when I considered naming seedling 198A Prophecy Of Joy after her. Rejected the name then because I felt like she deserved a more impressive flower. Not sure that 250A is that much better, honestly, but let's see how it goes.

This one is actually tough, because I kind of like and dislike all the options about equally.

I feel like Pat Benatar wants a redder flower than this, and we have a few of those coming up (241A feels like it would be an especially good fit). Plus I'm always worried about living celebrities suddenly becoming horrible for no reason.2 So we'll postpone Pat Benatar for a while.

And as much as I love that there's a term for it, Apple Chankings is maybe not a concept I want to associate with any of the seedlings, so I'll drop that one too. Though if I need a name for a crappy red seedling someday, I suppose I've got something that might work.

Which leaves Glede and Maraschino. And although I'd rather have a Maraschino, because the word is more fun, I think, again, that it needs a redder flower than this. Glede works fine for anything in this general color neighborhood, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn about the connection to birds of prey; bird-related names pretty much always work for Schlumbergera. So, *shrug*, 250A Glede.


1 The other named ones were: 239A Plow The Seashore, 240A Schwa, and 244A That's My Purse. A few others will be receiving names later this year (237A, 241A, 248A, 252A).
2 Though that seems not to have happened to Benatar. Probably she's safe.

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