Saturday, February 7, 2015

Schlumbergera seedling no. 084

It didn't show up particularly well in these photos, but #084 has weird, stumpy petals with squared-off tips, rather than the normal long tips that come to a point. This is an interesting idea, but the blooms so far have all angled downward pretty severely, and the petals are held in a way that sort of crams them all together just above the stamens, and the overall effect is just not very pretty.

It also probably doesn't help that it set and opened buds in a cobwebby corner of the plant room. That's why the stigma and stamens are all gunked up.

The color is fine, I guess, but I don't really have any interest in propagating this one. I did try TinEye, but as I began, I realized that there's no point to bothering to try to come up with a good name for it, especially not if doing so was going to involve lots of looking at the same photos I see over and over for every orange seedling, so I'm going to cut to the chase and christen #084 "Downward-Facing Dog."

Friday, February 6, 2015

Schlumbergera seedling no. 078

As I mentioned on February 2, I had a really tough time naming this one. TinEye gave me at least one photo that I thought was really gorgeous, but couldn't be made into a good name.1 I managed to come up with ten more name candidates from TinEye, then whittled that down to three, but none of the three made me say YES! THIS IS DEFINITELY THE NAME FOR THIS FLOWER! in the way that, say, "Leather Fairy" was obviously the name for #061A. And then one of the names I had eliminated sparked a thought process that I found interesting and entertaining, so it went back on the list. Then I ruled out "Tamika Flynn" for #083A, making it available for a different seedling, so I figured I could consider it for this seedling and see what happened.

The name that sparked the interesting thought process was "Art Party." The actual photograph is kinda meh, but it prompted me to think about art, and parties, and how I sort of have mixed feelings toward both of them. And what an "art party" would even be like in the first place, and how I imagine that university Art Department parties are probably mostly terrible. On the other hand, a party where people got together to celebrate the existence of art might be pretty cool. And a costume party where you're supposed to show up in costume as your favorite painting, symphony, sculpture, poem, or etc. might be even better.

And once I had that idea, I couldn't stop coming up with ideas for what costume to wear.

Like, I think it'd be pretty easy to put together an outfit that would be passable as a Mark Rothko painting, for example. Clothes are already big blocks of colors, arranged vertically, a lot of the time: Rothko would just be a matter of finding the right colors and proportions.

And Jackson Pollock would only be a small step up from Rothko in difficulty and expense: tan jumpsuit, some leftover house paint, a couple of those plastic containers restaurants use for mustard and ketchup, squirt squirt squirt, let dry, and boom.

There are probably off-the-rack dresses available that would make for a plausible Yayoi Kusama (seriously, Google her if you're not familiar: she's fun2); maybe not outfits for men so much, but you could wear a regular suit and then stick round fluorescent garage-sale price stickers all over it and be right in line with the Kusama aesthetic: see I'm Here, But Nothing (2000-2008), or The Obliteration Room. (Use non-fluorescent dot stickers and confine them to a precise grid, on pristine white clothing, and you've got yourself a Damien Hirst instead: see Edge and Abalone Acetone Powder.)

Sculptures would be tougher (though a person could maybe do a recognizable Alexander Calder mobile, given enough time and coat hangers).

The husband pointed out that Cristo and Jeanne Claude would probably be pretty easy, if you could sew at all and had access to lots and lots of orange fabric.

I don't know where you'd even start trying to come up with a costume based on a piece of music or poetry, unless you're lucky enough to be a synaesthete, I suppose. Or you could cheat by attending naked and telling everybody you came as 4'33". Which could work on a couple different levels, even.

The imagined outfits started to get more disturbing after I thought of Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ,"3 or Marco Evaristti's "Helena,"4 but the point is that "art party" was an intriguing name, and an even more interesting idea. A good seedling name? Well, I don't know. But fun to think about, and maybe worth considering.

So anyway. The three ideas I'd sort of settled on originally were Pink Weekend, Raspberry Possum, and Riveting.

So. Pros and cons:

"Tamika Flynn" pro: Tamika's a cool character. Fictional people are less likely to object to the use of their name.
"Tamika Flynn" con: No indication of actual bloom color. The idea of naming a seedling for Tamika has less appeal, now that I've spent so much time pondering it.

"Art Party" pro: Will get me thinking about art-costume ideas every time I read it, at least for a few weeks, which would be entertaining. Both art and parties are generally assumed to be positive, if not necessarily everybody's thing. Internal rhyme amusing. Have already spent most of the post talking about art parties, so that's what blog readers are likely to remember whether I name it "Art Party" or not.
"Art Party" con: Seedling is neither particularly artistic nor celebratory. Not everybody likes art (or parties). No indication of actual bloom color. Potential buyers will likely picture a different kind of art party than the one I have in mind. Inspiration photo is not very pretty or interesting. Internal rhyme sort of seal-like.

"Pink Weekend" pro: "Weekend" has positive associations. Bloom is in fact partly pink. Inspiration photo is pretty.
"Pink Weekend" con: Strong cultural associations of pink = for girls, which might or might not be a negative depending on who buys most plants and why. Sort of sounds like a ripoff of band Vampire Weekend, somehow. Plenty of workers don't actually get weekends, and it might not be a good idea to remind them that other people do. The term probably is, or will soon be, obscene.5

"Riveting" pro: easiest to type. Flower actually is kind of fascinating to look at (if awfully similar to #054A "Helpful Gesture"). Possible mental connections with "Rosie the Riveter."
"Riveting" con: Name gives no direct indication of bloom color. Inspiration photo kinda meh. May not actually be particularly interesting compared to other Schlumbergera cultivars, in which case the name could sound like I'm trying too hard. Flowers do not actually contain rivets.

"Raspberry Possum" pro: easily the weirdest / most memorable word-combination of the five options. A lot of people do like raspberries. Has some connection to actual color of the bloom.
"Raspberry Possum" con: Inspirational photo kind of boring, depicts no raspberries or possums. Also people mostly don't like possums that much, I think? Some people dislike raspberries because of the seeds. Others may perceive name as a recipe idea.

In the end, it came down to a choice between "Art Party" and "Raspberry Possum," and I decided to go with "Art Party," mainly because I found the "have already spent most of the post talking about art parties" point above pretty convincing. Which is a dumb and self-creating reason, but there you go.

So what would you wear to a costume art party?


1 That'd be "Love Corn," which is not only pretty, but also a really, really good job of color matching. (Good job, TinEye!) The world didn't actually need Valentine's Day candy corn -- or, indeed, any candy corn at all -- but since it's upon us anyway, we can at least acknowledge that it's kinda pretty.
2 Though also, as with all the best art, sort of disturbing and uncomfortable when you learn more about what she's doing.
3 Though that wouldn't have to be horrible. Maybe a white plastic crucifix on a necklace around your neck, plus a solid orange or yellow-orange outfit under it. It'd really have to be exactly the right color for the costume to work, but the point is that there's a more or less socially acceptable way to make the costume work and still be recognizable.
4 I cannot think of a way to make a "Helena" costume that wouldn't be a) repellent, b) absurdly impractical to wear, or c) both. But there probably is a way.
5 ("Pink weekend" is not yet in Urban Dictionary, but trust me, you don't want to read most of the "pink ____" entries there, and there are a lot of them.)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Schlumbergera seedling no. 088

Another orange and pink, similar to #012A "Sofa Fort," #021B "Birthday Dinner," #028B "Neon Like," and #064A "Rose Hoses." Which is fine. I like some of those better than others, but the color combination is pleasant enough.

I had to dig pretty hard in TinEye to come up with anything interesting. Fish long enough, and you'll catch some weird stuff, though.

In order from least to most plausible:

Bruce Lee: I like the idea of naming a Schlumbergera -- or any type of flower, really -- after Bruce Lee, though it sort of seems like a darker color might be more, you know, appropriate.1

Spontaneous Combustion: I think the pink in the flower kind of ruins this option. I mean, orange fires are all over the place, but who ever heard of a pink fire? Not saying it couldn't happen, just that it's not the color scheme I think of for any kind of combustion, spontaneous or not. (Also I think the image text is stupid, though that wasn't a major consideration.)

Empty Church sounds uncomfortably like I'm trying to make some kind of Statement, even though I'm not. Google Translate renders the image text from Portuguese as "God only attends the empty churches," hence the name. That sounds like it's supposed to mean something, but I spent a solid ten minutes or so trying to come up with something plausible it might be trying to say and failed. Maybe a translation error. Maybe a failure of imagination on my part.

In any case, this almost works as a name -- I can even think of at least one church I've attended that had this exact color scheme -- but it just makes too little sense.

Moped Rally is interesting, insofar as I'm surprised at the existence of moped rallies. I mean, everything else has a group of dedicated enthusiasts, so why not mopeds. And there are almost certainly orange and pink mopeds out there somewhere. Workable, but I thought I could probably do better.

Cyborg Unicorn is what I'm going with, though it may not actually be better than "Moped Rally." At least some of the reason for choosing this is that it reminds me of the game "Robot Unicorn Attack." I am terrible at RUA -- like, no learning curve at all, I suck just as much the 100th time as I did the first -- but I'm amused by the idea. Plus I'm just gay enough that I'll take any excuse to listen to Erasure, I guess. So "Cyborg Unicorn" it is.


1 It's ridiculous that we as a culture gender colors, which after all are just different wavelengths of light, and the combinations thereof, and have nothing intrinsically masculine or feminine about them. Even so, I suspect my brain would rebel at trying to associate Bruce Lee with a partly-pink flower, so it's probably best not to try to force it to. Ugly things happen when my brain rebels.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Schlumbergera seedling no. 019

Well what do you know. Orange again. Notable differences from the other orange-and-white Schlumbergera blooms? Well. I mean. It's I guess kind of skinnier-looking than some of the other ones. A little.

What did TinEye turn up for us this time? In order from least to most interesting:

French Open: tennis courts again. Plus very possibly a trademarked name or something, not that this would matter if it's just for my own personal code-naming, but still. Probably best not to get too accustomed to a name that I know I can't do anything with.

4th Floor: Ennh. Not even interesting enough to dismiss in an interesting fashion. Though the colors really do match up unusually well.

Mostly Family: I'm guessing that the title on this photo is actually the name of some collection of photos it's included in, and that it's a collection of photos which are primarily of the poster's family, but I like the idea of "Mostly" being a surname. You got your Donald Mostly, your Bonnie Anne Mostly, their daughter Marley Mostly, etc.

Bobble: I was not previously familiar with the word "bobble,"1 so I guess I've learned something.

Horse Blood Agar: And now I've learned another thing. Apparently microbiologists sometimes grow bacteria on agar plates which have been infused with animal blood. Why is it horse blood, and not, say, cow blood or pig blood (which I'd think would be more plentiful and therefore cheaper)? No clue. But now you know.

If you're easily disturbed by diassembled puppetoid robots, you should probably skip clicking the next link.

Jaws of Elmo is an amazing potential name. In my imagination, it fuses the movie Jaws, "Sesame Street" puppet Elmo,2 and the jaws of life, any combination of which results in something sort of disturbing and wonderful in my imagination. Plus that picture is pretty disturbing and wonderful on its own.

I disqualified "Jaws of Elmo" on the grounds that Elmo is red, so that name was forever going to make me think of a red flower, not orange, and it would be confusing. But I'm going to remember it, in the event that we end up with a red-blooming seedling sometime, 'cause that's really too good of a name to discard.

The winning name for this particular seedling, "Belevenissen," comes from this photo, which I believe to be the tour t-shirt for a Catholic youth choir (or possibly a women's choir?). As an isolated word, Google Translate and most other translation sites I found on-line say it's equivalent to "experiences," though Google renders "De belevenissen van het" from the t-shirt as "the adventures of," and one translation site came up with "vicissitudes." (!) If there are any Dutch speakers in the audience, feel free to provide a more definitive translation. Since I don't speak Dutch, I'll believe whatever you tell me, so amuse yourself if you like.

In any case, the meaning of the word seems sort of generic and not especially relevant to anything, but the word itself is sort of lovely (I feel like it should be the name of a line of shampoos and conditioners, for some reason), which is good enough for me.


1 I would ordinarily call these objects "pom-poms." Though I can't recall the last time I had to refer to one.
2 (The "poor man's Grover," if you will. Notable sentence from the Wikipedia article: 'Elmo has been referred to as the "Little Red Menace" by Sesame Street traditionalists.' Heh. #Grover4Lyfe)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Schlumbergera seedling no. 027

Seedling #027 made for a tough decision, name-wise. It doesn't really stand out, for good or ill: this is sort of the flower that would result if you could somehow average out all the other blooms that we've seen so far.

I considered a half-dozen options based on the color:

1979, which kind of works (I'm pretty sure a lot of the 70s was this color) but isn't particularly interesting as a name,
Bachelor Party, which is an interesting name but sounds maybe a little too exciting for such a boring flower,
Grannyface (same photo as "1979"), which was being seriously considered because it's a funny word,
Kiln, which has a certain color-appropriateness, plus my younger sister has recently gotten into ceramics and so it makes me think of her (also being seriously considered),
Metric, which is nonsensical enough to amuse me but it turned out that I didn't care that much for the band's actual music (not that that stopped me with Def Leppard's "Phil Collen," but those were special circumstances), and
Rothkoesque, which is interesting but implies untrue things about the bloom color.

And decided in the end to go with "Kiln," but part of me still thinks I should choose "Median" or something along those lines.1


1 And hey, um, I know that the naming is not actually important -- the odds of any of these ever being released as an actual named, patented cultivar are miniscule, and even if that were to happen, the odds of them retaining the names I'm using for them currently are even smaller.
Mostly, as with the drag-queen / punny names for the Anthurium seedlings, this is just my way of trying to come up with a memorable way of distinguishing a particular seedling from all the other seedlings, and that problem is, if anything, worse with the Schlumbergeras because the overwhelming majority of them are orange.
And also it amuses me to spend time trying to come up with names. Couldn't say whether it's entertaining for you or not. I'm trying, though. The flowers remain (mostly) pretty even if the chatter around them is obnoxious, so pay attention to whatever you want.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pretty pictures: Cattlianthe Jewel Box 'Dark Waters'

Looks remarkably like it did the last time we saw it. (in 2011, as Sophrolaeliocattleya)

I have the feeling this might come off better in person than it does in photos.

Cattlianthe Jewel Box 'Dark Waters' = Guarianthe aurantiaca x Cattleya Anzac (Ref.)

In other news:

I had set today as my deadline to announce a name for Schlumbergera seedling #083A.

I managed, with some difficulty, to eliminate four of my nine options ("Casino," "Gaga," "Uh Hey Baby," "You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That") as unsatisfactory to some degree or another.1

I eliminated one more ("Tamika Flynn") on the grounds that there's nothing especially Tamika-Flynnish about #083A. She's not specifically associated with any particular colors in Welcome to Night Vale (unless you count the blood of librarians as a color, though I don't think we're ever told what color librarian blood is), and in theory any seedling could be named "Tamika Flynn" just as appropriately as this one.2

This left "AbFab Darling," "Delirium," "Psychedelic Bunny," and "She's So Unusual," all of which I liked, and all of which were specific enough to unusual colors that they could really only be used for a seedling like #083A. So how to whittle the list down to four? Well, I had to reach pretty hard for things to object to, that's how.

Hence, I dropped "AbFab Darling" on the grounds that the "Darling," even if insincere and cynical in context, was just not the kind of word I would feel comfortable using around people who didn't know the reference. Too precious.

Then I thought that maybe "Delirium" had connotations I didn't necessarily want. I mean, sometimes it's fun to be delirious, and there's "deliriously happy," which sounds good, but we also have delirium tremens, which it's harder to put a positive spin on. Certainly no kind of delirium (basically "excited confusion," according to the dictionary) is desirable from a medical standpoint.

So out goes "Delirium," and now we're down to two. Was "She's So Unusual" (a Cyndi Lauper album title) a concern in the same way "Gaga" was? I decided no, that Cyndi Lauper had had plenty of time to embarrass herself if she was going to, and as far as I knew, she hasn't yet. If anything, she's gotten more respectable over time.3

And I was slightly bothered by the "bunny" part of "Psychedelic Bunny," since it's not a bunny, it's a plant. But "Psychedelic Bunny" is vastly catchier than "Psychedelic" on its own, and people generally think bunnies are appealing and cute,4 so I couldn't justify eliminating it on those grounds either.

Was it, perhaps, a problem to be using an album title? Are the three words "She's So Unusual" legally claimed by someone in a way that might be a problem for me? Not as far as I could determine.

Well is the bloom more psychedelic, or more unusual? And that was the question that finally decided me: it's certainly unusual, but "unusual" could refer to a lot of things. Image searches for the two words confirmed it for me: "psychedelic" has more in common with the flower than "unusual" does. So "Psychedelic Bunny" it was. Hooray!5

Thanks to everyone for playing, hopefully no hard feelings if I didn't take your suggestions, remember I said I had to be absurdly nitpicky just to get the list down to one, really it's an honor just to be nominated, there'll probably be more seedlings to name in the future, etc.


1 "Casino:" too generic.
"Gaga:" concerns about Lady Gaga's future behavior tainting the word. (Imagine naming a plant variety after Milli Vanilli, your favorite R&B pop group, in 1989. Then imagine trying to sell that cultivar under that same name in 1991. This is the sort of thing I worry about.)
"Uh Hey Baby:" sounded kinda dumb. Which was the point, but still. Dumb is dumb.
"You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That:" way too long. Also maybe a little bit sexist.
2 And in fact I've been having a terrible time coming up with a name for one particular seedling, which you'll see on February 6. Allowing myself to name it after Tamika could solve two problems at once.
3 Unless we're counting her participation in The Celebrity Apprentice. I still have to raise an eyebrow at anybody voluntarily choosing to associate themselves with Donald Trump, but I accept that it's Hollywood and sometimes these things will happen. Also it was for charity. Plus Trump probably told her it would be fun, and we all know Ms. Lauper's position on having fun. So she's excused, but with an admonishment not to do it again.
4 Though I suppose your more serious outdoor gardeners would have less positive leporine associations, which might be relevant here. Not sure.
5 Which lasted until I told the husband about the decision, and then he was like, okay, but what about Cyndi Lauper doing "True Colors," and naming her charity the True Colors Foundation, and all that? If the colors are the interesting thing about the seedling, then isn't a Cyndi Lauper reference actually more appropriate? And don't we like Cyndi Lauper regardless, well enough to name something after her? (Especially given that I've recently named a seedling after the guitarist for a band I don't even like and will sometimes even go slightly out of my way to avoid?)
And we do like Cyndi Lauper well enough to name a seedling after her. Really we do. But, after spending some time meditating on the pictures of #083A again, I concluded that it really just is more of a "Psychedelic Bunny" than it is a "She's So Unusual." And that's how that particular crisis was averted: by doubling down on a decision that had already been made, and then ignoring the conflict until it went away.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Anthurium news

Time to take a break from the Schlumbergera seedlings, and see what the Anthurium seedlings have been up to lately. (If this disappoints you, don't worry: plenty1 more Schlumbergera posts to come.)

It's been five or six weeks since the last Anthurium update, so there are a lot of individual stories to tell. For my convenience, I'm just going to take them in (mostly) numerical order, though I have news about three named varieties also.


I really thought this was going to be the moment when 'Florida' was successfully pollinated. I used brand-new blooms, I applied pollen at varying times of day, when the spadices should have been receptive, and I did it several times. Ffffffftt. Nothing. It's really looking like 'Florida' is not genetically compatible with the rest of the Anthuriums here. If this is the case, my best guess for an explanation is that it might be a triploid or something (which would also explain why the blooms and leaves are so huge).


'Joli,' on the other hand, has definitely been successfully pollinated --

-- and appears to be developing normally so far. Which is pretty exciting, since at their best, the blooms look like this:


I have collected and sown nine seeds2 from 'Midori' so far. It's not clear whether they're going to germinate, but at least they haven't grown fungus. It's always a good sign when they don't grow fungus.

This seed was sown on 18 January and photographed on 26 January.

Also the most recent bloom has changed color a little bit, in a more dramatic fashion than the previous one did, though the photo still doesn't do a great job of showing the red veining:

NOID purple

The NOID purple plant hasn't been doing well for a long time, but I've never been clear on what its problem was, exactly. I suspect overpotting. In any case, things reached a point where I felt I needed to cut off the tops and start them over, so I'm trying to root them in water now. I've left the stumps in their pot, and we'll see whether they resprout, but even if they do, I'm not optimistic about the plant's long-term future. There are enough children and grandchildren of the NOID purple around that the genes are probably not entirely lost, even if all the cuttings fail, but obviously I'm a little worried about it.

#040 "Ivy Winters"

Ivy produced another bloom shortly after finishing her first. She's been drying out too much between waterings, so I may need to move her up to a 6-inch (15 cm) pot soon if I want to keep her around. The flowers may not be special enough to be worth the trouble, though.

#046 "Aurora Boreanaz"

Aurora was I think the third seedling to bloom after getting moved to a 6-inch pot last October. She's doing a lot better lately than she had been: the spathe on the new bloom is (relatively) uncracked, the new foliage looks better, and up until an early draft of this post where I said I hadn't seen any thrips, I hadn't seen any thrips. (*sigh*)

#085 "Carson Trucks"

Carson's finally got a new bud going, after being moved up to a 6-inch pot last November. This may or may not be worth getting excited about (the bloom color is nice, but the blooms are small and infrequent), but it's been such a long time that I can't help getting a little excited about it.

#118 "Elijah Sturdabowtit"

Elijah says hello. He's still doing that thing of being orange when the spathe first opens, and then turning pink within a couple of days. I go back and forth about whether or not this might be a good thing.

#120 "Eliza Boutisecksis"

Eliza is this close to unfurling a new spathe. She was also moved up to a 6-inch pot last November. I'm hoping that being in a bigger pot will help reduce the drought stress damage to the buds, and I'll wind up with something bigger and shinier than the previous blooms have been, but we'll see.

#132 "Eve Stropper"

Eve's bud aborted, probably due to drought stress. We will see, though, that this doesn't mean that we need to give up on her forever.

#231 "Rhea Listick"

Rhea waited until I'd sown the seeds from her last bloom before producing a new bud. The new bud looks like it might be bigger and prettier than the previous ones, however. She got repotted in November, up to a 6-inch pot, which I'm hoping will encourage blooming: she's one of the more promising seedlings so far.

#237 "Roxy Casbah"

Roxy tried to bloom last May but then aborted after I started spraying the plants with white oil. I wasn't sure whether she'd bother to try again, but she has. So it's nice to know that that situation isn't permanent.3

#241 "Megan Gigaterra"

Megan's been working on a light pink bud for what feels like forever. I'm not expecting it to be terribly exciting once it happens, but at this point any new first-time blooms are neat, and it's a pretty large bud, at least. If she looks like I expect her to look, Megan may be one of the seedlings I sell off this spring or summer.

#248 "Sue Casa"

Sue started a bud last summer, but aborted it, and then she died in mid-January, probably due to overwatering. Or maybe just due to sucking. Sometimes seedlings just suck.

#257 "Summer Bederth-Enuthers"

New first-time bloomer. This bud is only a couple weeks old, so it may not amount to anything, but I suppose it's meaningful that Summer's making the attempt.

#259 "Tasha Salad"

Tasha's one of the most exciting seedlings to me at the moment; not only a first-time bloomer, but a first-time bloomer that developed quickly and had a purplish bloom. It's pretty close to the color of #035 "Alyssa Edwards," though with a smaller spathe. Unlike Alyssa, Tasha started a new bud before her first was fully open, which is also a good sign, and she's on the fast track to get a 6-inch pot.

#264 "Trey Lerpark"

Trey's first bud was discovered last Monday. On Monday, there was a distinct purplish cast to the bud; by the time I took this photo on Tuesday morning, there no longer was. It's conceivable that he might change back to purple before the spathe opens -- he may be a full sibling of Tasha's, and buds do often change color as they develop -- but he might stay a plain red. No way to know now: we'll just have to wait and see.

#279 "Tristan Shout"

Another plant that aborted a bud last summer and started over this winter. Fingers crossed.

#290 "RuPaul Charles" & #334 "Jean Poole"

Ru has nice foliage, and the bud is an interesting dark red. This should be exciting, but I'm a little wary, because of how things turned out with Jean.

#290 "RuPaul Charles"

Jean has a lot going for her: dark red buds, dark, glossy foliage with an interesting color and shape, able to hold herself upright, just kind of an overall handsome plant. The problem is that the bloom was disappointing:

Not the color promised by the buds, plus the spathe was small compared to the overall size of the plant. Admittedly, the red spathe / lavender spadix combination is interesting,4 the flower has lasted a long time so far, and Jean began working on a second bud almost immediately, so maybe I'll be more impressed next time.

#334 "Jean Poole," second bud

Even with disappointing blooms, Jean has a lot going for her, and I intend to keep her around. But I had hoped for something a bit more spectacular. Which is why I'm not as excited about #290 "RuPaul Charles" as I would otherwise be; I'm trying to keep my expectations low.

Oh, and: the appearance of #290 "RuPaul Charles" right before the premiere of Season 7 of RuPaul's Drag Race5 is coincidental but pleasant. Sometimes the seedlings just know these things.

#330 "Faye Quinette"

Faye's foliage is pretty similar to RuPaul and Jean: all three have dark green leaves with a matte finish (a trait that seems to come from the NOID red, even though the NOID red's leaves are fairly shiny), so I was expecting the bud to match as well, but Faye's bud is actually more brown than anything thus far, and it's not even a pretty brown. I do like it when unexpected new things happen, and a brown spathe wouldn't be the worst thing, but . . . well, I'm not sure what to hope for, I guess.6

#344 "Formica Dinette"

Formica's bud is really too small to tell what color it's going to be, at this point, but I'm guessing it will probably be pink. Probably nothing interesting will happen here, but it's news, so.

#346 "Lois Carmen DiNominatre"

Only just discovered Lois's first bud three weeks ago, and it didn't last: it had aborted within two weeks. The location of the bud was a clue that this would happen: keep reading.

#415 "Darby Dragons"

I had just moved Darby from a 3-inch pot to a 4-inch pot six weeks before I noticed this:

It aborted the bud after a few weeks, which didn't surprise me: it was only 14 months old at that point. 14 months for a bud isn't unheard of (#058 "Betty Larsony" built a first bud at 12 months), but the record for a bud which goes on to become an actual bloom is 15 months (#282 "Dave Trading"). (The average so far is 25 months.) Darby also chose a weird location to start building a bud -- ordinarily they start with a node near the growing tip, not an old node from the side of the plant. Lois did this too, then aborted; #076 "Bob Humbug" aborted side blooms several times before growing one from near the growing tip that survived. Not sure what any of this means, but it's a pattern, and will no doubt be helpful for calibrating my enthusiasm level in the future.

#555 "Mystique Summers Madison"

Mystique's bud is another one that has only been around for three weeks, which ordinarily would make me hesitant to get too excited about it, but it's also unusually big for a first-time bud, and growing pretty rapidly. Additionally, Mystique is older than you'd think from her ID number -- a lot of the seedlings from the middle and late 500s are divisions from older plants. She's either a clone or a sibling of #083 "Carmen Adairya," and is 38 months old even if she doesn't look a day over 29. So there's good reason to think she may be perfectly capable of knocking out a decent bloom already.

#565 "MysterE"

MysterE was divided from, and consequently either a clone or sibling of, #232 "Rhoda Badcek." (Who is also producing a bud right now, by the way.)

#592 "Tess LeCoil"

Tess isn't budding or blooming, but I wanted you to see this:

I don't know what this is. I suspect I should probably get rid of it. I've seen this sort of thing a few other times on very young seedlings just after transplanting: they never actually grow out of it and eventually I wind up throwing them away. This is the first time I've seen an otherwise normal-looking plant spontaneously grow something like this. No idea what it means, and it's not in any way attractive, but it's at least different, right?

#594 "Charity Case"

Like #555 "Mystique Summers Madison" and #565 "MysterE," Charity is older than her ID number would suggest, and is either a clone or sibling of #279 "Tristan Shout." Charity and Tristan are also blooming at basically the same time, like MysterE and Rhoda, though Charity beat Tristan to opening by enough time that I couldn't get a photo of his bloom for this post. In this case, the synchronization makes a bit more sense: not only are they possibly genetically identical, but they also both live on the same flat, which means that they get water at the same time, and have the same light duration (if not intensity), temperature, and humidity.

And that's all we have for today. The buds are coming along much faster now (seven showed up as I was in the process of working on this post, and two buds opened, necessitating additional rounds of photos), so you probably won't have to wait nearly as long for the next Anthurium update as you did for this one. I'm also working (intermittently) on a post about Anthurium foliage (it's more interesting than you think! I swear!), which in theory could happen at any moment, but will probably actually happen in a few more weeks. Maybe months.

Tomorrow: back to the Schlumbergera mines.


1 ("plenty" = at least five six. At least two of those are attractive, and at least one will be non-orange.)
2 (probably 'Midori' x NOID red)
3 Almost always, a plant that aborts a bud will try again fairly soon thereafter. Only a handful of the seedlings have started blooms, aborted, and then declined to try again within six months: so far, it's just #058 "Betty Larsony" (who has a good excuse, since she got cut back and hasn't recovered from that yet), #088 "Charlotte F. Babylon" (first and only bud started in March 2014), #281 "Laganja Estranja" (April 2014), #124 "Fox Saik" (May 2014) and #265 "Madame LaQueer" (June 2014).
#236 "Roxanne DeBree" technically qualifies also, but I'm seeing hints of a developing bud there. It's not unambiguous enough for me to make it official yet, but Roxanne could in fact be trying again.
4 (if reminiscent of #144 "Graham Reaper," who did the same color combination but wore it a little bit better)
5 After? I haven't been able to find an actual date for it yet. I'd read that it was going to premiere January 26, wrote a note for myself about it and everything, but then I searched on the 27th and apparently it hadn't; all anybody would say for a date was "spring." So I don't know. But previously it's always been January or February (we do not speak of All-Stars), so I'm assuming it still will be.
6 My actual expectation here is that the green will diminish over time, and the red or whatever it is will intensify, and I'll wind up with another red or dark red. But it might be fun to be proven wrong? Even if it means I have a baby-shit brown Anthurium? Possibly?