Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rumble Among the Jungle, Matches 3.3 and 3.4

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.

Match 2.21 to 2.24 results:

In match 2.21, completely unexpectedly, Dendrobium cvv. and Beaucarnea recurvata were essentially tied for three days. I expected Dendrobium to walk all over Beaucarnea (it's colorful, it has flowers, orchids have a lot of fans in general, Beaucarneas are strange-looking), so this had me very puzzled. In the final count, Beaucarnea actually won, by a vote of 58 to 56. I demand that y'all explain to me what happened.2
The other matches from this set were a lot easier to predict. Oncidium alliance orchids stomped Polyscias fruticosa hard in match 2.22, winning by 64 to 37.

So Beaucarnea "The Orchid Killer" recurvata faces the Oncidium gang in match 3.11. Voting will begin 20 October.

Match 2.23 appears to have been much easier for people than I anticipated. (I was expecting there to be complaints about having to choose between Dracaena deremensis cvv. and Schefflera actinophylla / arboricola, but nobody did.) Dracaena deremensis breezes through to the third round by a vote of 63 to 38.
Match 2.24 shouldn't have surprised anybody: Sansevieria trifasciata cvv. took down rhizomatous Begonia cvv. 78 to 33.

Dracaena deremensis and Sansevieria trifasciata will challenge one another in match 3.12 on 20 October. There's really no outcome there that's not going to leave me disappointed.

And now for today's matches. I may have to sit out 3.4; I don't know how I'm going to choose between them.

Match 3.3
Dracaena reflexa cvv. vs. Aglaonema cvv. (Chinese evergreen)

Clockwise from top left: D. reflexa 'Riki,' 'Anita,' 'Song of India,' 'Song of Jamaica.'

Clockwise from top left: Aglaonema 'Emerald Bay,' 'Brilliant,' 'Mystic Marble,' 'Sparkling Sarah.'

Match 3.4
Strelitzia nicolai/reginae (white/orange bird of paradise) vs. Philodendron hederaceum cvv. (heart-leaf philodendron)

Clockwise from left: Strelitzia nicolai, S. reginae flower, S. reginae.

Clockwise from top left: Philodendron hederaceum 'Brasil,' P. hederaceum micans, NOID, P. hederaceum 'Aureum' or something similar, species, P. hederaceum 'Frilly Philly.'


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?
2 Okay, yes, I was one of the Beaucarnea votes, because my main principle in making these decisions has been will it die on me?, and I have a better track record with Beaucarnea in that respect. But I don't understand the rest of y'all's thought processes.


Anonymous said...

I don't vote for my favourites - I vote for the hardiest, most reliable plants. So, as much as I love dendrobs, they can be a bitch to re-bloom. *sigh* My post-apocolyptic world is going to be full of boring plants. But at least there will be plants, eh?

Anonymous said...

This is getting exciting, man. Almost time for the Superbowl! You should do the Puppycam thing for the finale. My kids always loved that! :)

Thomas said...

While I like most orchids, I'm not a big fan of dendrobiums. But in "Orchid Killer" vs. the Oncidium Gang (sounds like a anime title), I'm predicting Beaucarnea's going down...

Tom said...

I picked Beaucarnea because Dendrobiums are a pain in the butt to get to rebloom and so many of them have such awkward dormancies where they just look like ugly sticks coming up out of a pot full of bark chunks. No one likes chunky pots with ugly sticks. Beaucarnea on the other hand is familiar (kind of palmy looking) but exotic enough to make a grower feel special.

Joseph said...

My thought process on Dendrobium versus Beaucarnea was similar to yours. I can grow Beaucarnea, I don't have the conditions to keep dendrobium happy. IF I had a perfectly wonderful heated greenhouse and such, yes, I think I would rather have Dendrobium, but given my reality, Beaucarnea is the clear winner.

Joseph said...

Oh, and: How could you not know how to vote on 3.4? Philodendron is CLEARLY a better plant.

mr_subjunctive said...


Mine too, mostly, though sometimes they're about equally reliable and I get to choose based on more subjective factors. And at least a few times, I'm pretty sure I've voted against a more reliable plant because I really hate the other choice. (Ex. 1.63: Codiaeum variegatum vs. Opuntia spp. Opuntia is probably the more reliable plant, but I suspect my lack of light is severe enough that an Opuntia would just wind up all etiolated and strange, whereas for a Codiaeum I could probably make something work out. But I hate Codiaeum. So I voted for Opuntia anyway.)


I expect it will, too. But that it could reach the third round at all is pretty amazing. And you never know; maybe Oncidiums will pull a hamstring or something.


Well, Philodendron is how I voted, but I really like Strelitzias too -- they're big, the leaves are neat, they do well for me. So I had to think about it.

Kapt'n Splash said...

I've been voting for what I would prefer to have if I had the proper place/equipment/etc. to keep it happy. A lot of what I've voted for I currently would never be able to keep alive.

Paul said...

"IF I had a perfectly wonderful heated greenhouse and such, yes, I think I would rather have Dendrobium, but given my reality, Beaucarnea is the clear winner."

On the contrary, Joseph, one certainly doesn't need a perfectly heated greenhouse. For many dens, a perfectly heated greenhouse is likely to prevent them from blooming.

Many of those dens that do enjoy a very warm, very sunny spot over the summer (even to the point of being outside in partial to full sun), typically want a cool dry rest for the winter. Have a chilly room or window ledge that still gets some decent light? That's where you put it for spike initiation. (Heck if you did give it a summer outdoors, leave it there until threat of hard frost ... just cut back on the water.)

For that matter, there are dens that prefer lower light like a phalanopsis and do well in typical room temps year round. There are even dens that like a constantly cool setting. Dens, as a group, have adapted to a wide range of conditions.

I was disappointed that dens lost out. (But I was even more disappointed that catts lost their match ... most are easy and very durable.)

Unknown said...

You should have put up Beaucarnea stricta: The texturing on the bark is to die for.