Saturday, May 30, 2015

Pretty picture: Guarianthe aurantiaca

It's gotten to the point where it almost wouldn't feel like a trip to the orchid show if I didn't get to see a Guarianthe aurantiaca (formerly Cattleya). Here are the ones from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014.

I don't know what happened in 2013 that made me miss it. I mean, I assume there was probably one there.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Anthuriums no. 0215 and 0290

When I saw that 0215 "Nathan Ofithlam" was producing a bud, I wasn't expecting it to be anything terribly exciting. Generally, light pink buds turn into light pink spathes, and you cannot even imagine how sick of pink and red I am right now. Plus, the light pink spathes seem to be especially attractive to thrips, and thrips scars are especially visible on light pink spathes, so the upshot is that seeing a light pink bud is almost worse than seeing no bud at all.

But Nathan has turned out to be sort of a pleasant surprise:

Only a few thrips scars, this is as close as any seedlings have gotten to producing white spathes,1 and it's got that odd tiny second spathe at the base of the spadix.2 So it's a lot more interesting than it should have been.

It's not otherwise especially exciting; the leaves are only okay --

-- and the plant as a whole is still pretty small, considering its age (38 months in the photo).

But it'll get to stay at least until it's clear whether the color and double spathe are genetic.

Speaking of possibly-genetic oddities, one unusual bloom that I had assumed was probably only that way because I'd missed a watering or something, that of seedling 0290 "RuPaul Charles" --

-- is looking like it might actually be genetically determined. The plant was producing a second bud in April that got stuck on its own cataphyll and strangled in early May, but the bud had opened up enough by the time it died to show what the shape was going to be, and it looked the same. Much smaller, but the same shape.

I'd still like to see it produce another bloom of the same size, all the way to maturity, before I get too worked up about it, but this is encouraging.


1 A few others are in the neighborhood, though: 0041 "Anna Graham" has very light orange-pink spathes that get even lighter as they age, for example.
A number of the pinks don't start out very light in color, but fade with age to the point where they're essentially white by the time they die (0066 "Barbara Seville," 0083 "Carmen Adairya," 0097 "Colin Ambulance," 0126 "Erin Dirtylondry," 0202 "Mason Pepperspray," 0244 "Sara Problem," 0273 "Wes Coast," 0275 "Yvette Horizon," 0279 "Tristan Shout," 0594 "Charity Case"), as you can see in the below photos. I've tried to get pictures of the same individual bloom, when I had them.

Elapsed times between photos for each bloom:
0066 "Barbara Seville:" 42 days
0083 "Carmen Adairya:" 94 days
0097 "Colin Ambulance:" 54 days
0126 "Erin Dirtylondry:" 30 days
0202 "Mason Pepperspray: 50 days

Elapsed times:
0244 "Sara Problem:" 86 days
0273 "Wes Coast:" 132 days
0275 "Yvette Horizon:" 30 days
0279 "Tristan Shout:" 81 days
0594 "Charity Case: 89 days

One other seedling, 0235 "Rowan DeBoate," produced a very light spathe the first time out, which darkened quickly, and thereafter produced spathes that started out dark pink.

Left: first bloom, from 3 December 2013.
Right: most recent bloom, 15 April 2015.

At this point, we can't rule out the possibility that Nathan is doing what Rowan did, and his next bloom will be much more ordinary. But let's try not to be a total buzzkill realist; it's not like I have a lot of positive Anthurium-related things happening right now.
2 I knew that doubled spathes and spadices were possible: the Anthurium-breeding book includes a named variety called 'Hokulea,' which consistently produces blooms with two spathes, which point in nearly-opposite directions; a variety named 'Satan,' which produces 2-4 spadices per bloom; and a variety called 'Hidden Treasure,' which usually makes no spadices at all, but occasionally produces them in the leaf axils or the typical spot. I was unable to find photos of any of the three on-line, unfortunately, but if it helps at all: 'Hokulea' is light pink / red-purple; 'Satan' is white / light yellow; 'Hidden Treasure' is a pink-orange Obake with white spadices.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pretty picture: Phalaenopsis I-Hsin Black Jack

Hey, so: I am still alive, but for various reasons haven't been able to post lately.

Or, technically, I suppose I'm able to post, in the sense that no one is physically preventing me from doing so, but I've found it difficult to post. That's probably going to continue for a while longer, as I try to process another large batch of recent photos, but I haven't forgotten about you or the blog, and semi-regular non-orchid posting will resume eventually.

Now then.

This is a very dark Phalaenopsis, but there's an even darker one coming up in February. I find myself surprisingly impressed with both. (Though while I was taking this photo, another show attendee was telling someone that they really preferred the white ones. Judging by what I see in the background while watching TV, everybody else prefers white too.1 I think this is clearly wrong, on the grounds that all white phals look exactly the same and are boring, but nobody listens to me.)

And yes, I see that the tag has this identified as a Doritaenopsis, but neither Doritaenopsis nor Doritis even still exist, officially, so I fixed it.

Phalaenopsis I-Hsin Black Jack = Phalaenopsis Golden Peoker x Phalaenopsis Leopard Prince (Ref.)


1 Since about 2010 or so, white Phalaenopsis have been taking up more and more "TV houseplant" positions, to the point where it's currently like 80% white phals in the stuff we watch around here. A startlingly large chunk of the remaining 20% is Ficus lyrata, which seems to be having a sudden cultural revival for no good reason I can think of.