Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Anthuriums no. 1000 to 1028

So a lot of things are going on with the Anthuriums lately, some of them more interesting than others. In the past, I've tried to just let a certain amount of stuff build up and then dump all the news on you at once in a big post like this or this, but so many things are happening so quickly that any draft I attempted to write would go out of date as I was writing it. Also I suspect those are sort of a lot to ask of y'all. Those posts tend to be really long, and you have things to do, places to go. So I'm going to try, instead, to treat them more like the recent Schlumbergera posts1 and focus on individuals or small groups of seedlings.

The positive part of this is that I should be able to update the blog nearly every day until . . . I don't know. Until the Anthuriums stop doing things. The negative side is that it's all going to be about Anthuriums, and will probably be just as repetitive as the Anthurium Update posts were, just spread out over a longer period of time.

So that's what I'm thinking will happen. You've been warned.

This particular post just marks a new milestone in the Anthurium-breeding process: the seedling ID numbers have just rolled over into four digits, as of 19 February. Here is #1000, "Thorgy Thor."2

No, she doesn't look like much yet, but she's still basically a preschooler, in human years.3 Give her time.


1 Which are possibly not over after all; there are at least two previously-unbloomed seedlings with new buds at the moment (099 and 111). Who wants to bet they'll both be some shade of orange?
2 (The performer rhymes "Thorgy" with "orgy," not "corgi.")
3 Thorgy's six months old in this photo.
I spent forever playing with numbers in Excel trying to get a formula to convert Anthurium age to human age, figuring that seed sow date was more or less equivalent to birthdate, first bloom was more or less puberty, and age when a seedling's seeds were sown was parenthood (which first motherhood in the U.S. is averaging around 25 years old, according to a sort of rushed and non-critical internet search), but the Anthurium life cycle doesn't scale well to a human life cycle. The best overall approximation I could come up with was a fifth-degree polynomial (y = 0.000000279x5 - 0.000047302x4 + 0.002328818x3 - 0.020959355x2 + 0.381271297x, where y is the human equivalent in years and x is the actual age of the plant in months), which was obviously not particularly easy to calculate in one's head and consequently isn't very useful. And also might not bear much relationship to reality in the first place: I don't know the maximum possible lifespan for an Anthurium hybrid. Don't even have a guess. But let's go ahead and say Thorgy's a preschooler anyway: it's true metaphorically, whether it's true biologically or not.

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