Monday, October 5, 2015

Anthurium no. 0596 "Alisa Summers"

Meet Alisa.

(22 August 2015)

That's not a 100% unique spathe color; we've seen something along those lines in three other seedlings --

Clockwise from top left: 0041 "Anna Graham," 0097 "Colin Ambulance," 0596 "Alisa Summers," 0328 "Polly Esther Blend."

-- but it's still pretty unusual, and therefore nifty.

Alisa is also unusual in that she's the first seedling from the NOID pink parent to bloom (you'll see the second of its offspring in a couple days). I was not expecting anything like this from the NOID pink; if I'd known it would produce something other than a bunch of boring pink / pinks, I might have worked harder to pollinate it.

The overall plant isn't amazing, but it's nice enough.

The leaves are what I'm coming to think of as "quilted," with a few very heavy veins that are sunk below the rest of the leaf, but I'll have more to say about foliage fairly soon so I don't want to get too sidetracked on that right now.1 In any case, they seem fairly healthy, attractive, and relatively unbothered by thrips.

Which is actually kind of weird, because the thrips love hanging out around Alisa -- I almost always find some when I go over her spathes with adhesive tape.2 They just don't do much visible damage, somehow: either they're eating her but she's colored in a way that makes the damage not show up, or they're not eating her. Either way, good characteristics to try to breed into subsequent seedlings. Haven't managed to pollinate her yet, unfortunately, but I'm still working on it.

(19 August 2015)

The blooms are also fairly long-lived: they're beginning to dry out and die now, I think, but the pictures in this post were taken about six weeks ago. Six weeks is a respectable lifetime, especially considering that the plant produced two blooms more or less simultaneously, and the first blooms already looked good: they should be awesome in another six months or so.

(20 August 2015)

(6 September 2015)


1 I think I finally have the words with which to describe Anthurium foliage. I've been able to identify five types of venation -- not so much the actual arrangement of the veins, which I think is essentially the same for all the plants, but the appearance: which particular veins are most visible. The five terms are "flat," "fishbone," "star," "quilted," and "lizard," and I'm sure I'll explain further at some point in the future
I've also gotten workable classifications for the different leaf shapes. I know it sure looks like "heart-shaped" should cover everything, but there are, y'know, nuances.
Currently, everything fits into six categories: "heart," "square" (a broad, large heart), "spear" (a long, narrow heart), "triangle" (heart with significantly reduced lobes), "short lens," and "long lens." All of these have actual botanical terms to go with them: heart and square = cordate, spear = sagittate, triangle = deltoid, short lens = elliptic, long lens = lanceolate).
I use my own terms instead of the botanical ones because my terms fit the leaves that I'm trying to classify a lot better. (And of course they would: that's why they were created in the first place.)
2 I have recently discovered a new, entertaining thing I can do with thrips: I can pull them off the plants with a piece of adhesive tape and then watch them flail their legs under the microscope. It's not about eradicating them (which I figure is impossible), but if I can't actually eliminate them, then I can at least look them directly in their beady black eyes and make them regret their life choices briefly before they die. Or that's the idea. I don't know whether thrips can actually be shamed. Probably not.
This may also eventually be useful if I ever figure out a way to use my camera and microscope together to take decent photos, because who doesn't want to look at heavily magnified thrips?
And yes, it has not escaped my attention that perhaps sticky traps might be useful in controlling the thrips. The problem was that we occasionally used them at the ex-job (mostly for fungus gnats and whitefly), and I found them much, much more irritating to deal with than the bugs themselves, because it became impossible to pick up a plant without a trap accidentally sticking to a neighboring plant's leaves, and then you'd have to try to slowly peel off the leaf from the trap, and the slow-peel never actually worked, so we wound up with a few dead bugs and a whole lot of ripped leaves. I may still experiment with putting a few small pieces of adhesive tape around on a shelf or two of the plants, and see if they catch anything interesting, but the actual traps are too obnoxious and too expensive to use.


Ivynettle said...

Footnote 2 was the funniest thing I've read so far today, made me laugh out loud several times!
Except for the part about sticky traps, because those things really are so annoying. I use them a lot on the balcony, but putting them up always includes a lot of cursing. The worst are the kind that are impossible to put up without getting glue on your hands, and then those usually have the kind of glue that just does not come off your hands no matter what you do. (And I never remember which brand it was that I swore to never buy again...)

Nick said...

Have you tried spraying Spinosad for thrips? I don't know what the brand would be in North America, or if your thrips would be resistant, but it worked like magic for us. Have been alternating with Fipronil spray and have them under control.

mr_subjunctive said...


I haven't. The problem is not so much a failure of imagination, that I just can't think of anything to try, as it is a failure of resources: pesticides are expensive, and I would need to buy large quantities to have any chance of eliminating the thrips. Plus I'm not sure eliminating the thrips is even possible: after all, the scale survived a very careful and thorough imidacloprid application. And the thrips survived very careful, thorough, and repeated white-oilings. There are just too many places for things to hide.

That said, I'm curious: was this in a house? Greenhouse? Outdoors?

Nick said...

Sorry, it was outdoors on a large crop of chrysanthemums for a display. They were crawling with thrips (i could shake 20+ out of an unopened flower bud onto my gloves). We were spraying with neem oil regularly to see if it worked (nope!) and had almost given up. Spinosad was the final option we had which might possibly work. It worked very well. The day following spraying a similar unopened bud contained no live thrips and after a repeat spray a week or so later the chrysanthemums were one of the best displays we have had in years. Have the thrips under control currently, but it's just warming up here and are monitoring and using cultural control methods.
Some scale are not controlled by imidacloprid. I've used Acetamiprid, pirimiphos-methyl and pyrethroids to eliminate an infestation of boisduval scale in orchids, but i'd use different things for different scale insects. Thrips will survive white oilings, but hopefully it got the scale? Thrips are one of the worst pests i have dealt with - so much work and the strain we have here is resistant to most of the insecticides we can get.

mr_subjunctive said...


The white oil didn't get the scale, no; I'm still finding it around here every so often.

One said...

I just can'thelp it. Thanks to Anna Graham and her ilk, Anthuriums always go by the name of "cat dick plant" in my head.