Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rumble Among the Jungle, Matches 1.57-1.60

Rules and Stuff
1) It's probably possible to vote more than once per poll, but please don't. If I believe that someone is voting repeatedly, I will throw out those results, repost the poll, and seriously question that person's priorities.
2) If you want to link to a poll on Twitter / Facebook / your blog / whatever and encourage your friends to come and pump up the support for your favorite plants, you are encouraged to do so.
3) You are also encouraged to leave comments on Rumble posts, if so moved.
4) All photos will enlarge if opened in a separate window/tab.
5) You can choose which plant is "best" according to whatever criteria you decide for yourself. My personal process is a bit convoluted.1
6) All polls will be open for three days.

Results from matches 1.41 to 1.44:

Not many surprises from this set. In match 1.41, Dendrobium cvv. beat Ficus pumila 73 to 35, which I suppose is what Ficus gets for not having colorful flowers.
Match 1.42 was incredibly close, but in the end Beaucarnea recurvata defeated Sedum morganianum and S. burrito by a single vote (56 to 55).

Dendrobium and Beaucarnea will next compete in match 2.21, on 12 October, facing one another to determine who makes it to the third round.

Oncidium alliance orchids, as expected, beat out large columnar Euphorbia spp. (ammak, ingens, trigona, etc.) in match 1.43, but at least it was relatively close. *sigh* The score was 63 to 44.
Finally, in match 1.44, Polyscias fruticosa beat Austrocylindropuntia subulata monstrose by 64 to 38, which I personally kind of appreciate because it's hard to type Austrocylindropuntia.

Oncidium alliance orchids face Polyscias fruticosa in match 2.22, on 12 October.

Today's matches:

Match 1.57
Aeonium spp. vs. Aphelandra squarrosa (zebra plant)

Clockwise from top: Aeonium 'Kiwi,' 'Irish Bouquet,' A. arboreum atropurpureum 'Zwartkop.'

(Aphelandra squarrosa)

Match 1.58
Euphorbia milii (crown of thorns) vs. Tradescantia spathacea cvv. (moses-in-the-cradle, oyster plant)

(All Euphorbia milii cvv.)

Top row, L-R: Tradescantia spathacea, variegated T. spathacea.
Bottom row: T. spathacea, T. spathacea 'Sitara Gold,' close-up of T. spathacea flower.

Match 1.59
Tillandsia spp. (air plants) vs. Philodendron bipinnatifidum cvv. and similar spp. (xanadu, 'Hope,' 'Spicy Dog')

Left side, top to bottom: Tillandsia xerographica, T. capitata 'Peach.'
Center, top to bottom: NOID, NOID, T. ionantha 'Druid.'
Right side, top to bottom: NOID, T. abdita Mexican form.

Clockwise from top left: Philodendron bipinnatifidum ('Hope?'), P. xanadu, Philodendron bipinnatifidum ('Hope?'), P. 'Spicy Dog.'

Match 1.60
Pilea cadierei (aluminum plant) vs. Dieffenbachia cvv. (dumb cane)

(Both are Pilea cadierei.)

Clockwise from top left: Dieffenbachia 'Sterling,' 'Panther,' 'Camille' or 'Tropic Marianne' or something similar, 'Camouflage,' NOID.


1 I'm deciding according to a hypothetical situation in which all of my houseplants are gone, as are all the other houseplants of the world, except for one producer/supplier/retailer. Said person is offering to restock me with one or the other of the plants in question but refuses to give me both. Which one would I choose?


Chris said...

Far be it from me to judge your choices, but wasn't Tillandsia cyanea already in this contest? What would happen if Tillandsia spp. went up against Tillandsia cyanea?

mr_subjunctive said...


Yes, Tillandsia cyanea was already in this contest (match 1.55).

My justification for listing them separately is that T. cyanea is usually grown in soil, and air plants are usually grown in . . . not-soil. (The common name is relevant here: I couldn't list all the epiphytic Tillandsias by name in the short space I have, so they become "Tillandsia spp.," but "Tillandsia spp." is not to be understood as constituting all Tillandsia species everywhere, only the ones grown as air plants.)

Because of the cultural difference (which is also a retail difference: nobody sells T. cyanea as an "air plant"), the genus is split into air plants and not-air plants; because T. cyanea is the only terrestrial Tillandsia that's commonly sold, the "not-air plant" category only contains one species.

It's not an ideal situation; there were lots of those involved in narrowing things down to 128 contestants. (Like, should Euphorbia lactea have been included with the columnar Euphorbias?[1] Is it really fair to list Hylocereus/Gymnocalycium grafts and Gymnocalycium spp. in separate categories?[2] Shouldn't Davallia and Phlebodium be split up, since they're not even in the same family?[3] Is it fair to have individual species like Mimosa pudica competing against large conglomerations of hybrids, species and cultivars like Saintpaulia?[4] Etc.) The guiding principle, to the extent that there was one, was that things that are usually lumped at the retail level should be lumped, and things that are distinct should be left distinct; i.e., the common names are often more important than the botanical names.


[1] No.
[2] I think so.
[3] Yes, absolutely.
[4] It's really not.

phantom_tiger said...

Coffee would like a recount.

CelticRose said...

You were absolutely right to separate normal Gymnos from those horrible mutant dayglo grafts.