Saturday, August 8, 2015

Anthurium no. 0360 "Heidi Gosique"

Heidi has all but secured herself a promotion to a 6-inch pot, whenever a space becomes available. It's not so much that the flowers are decent, though they are --

-- as that the overall plant is nice and compact. As new seedlings produce finished blooms (97 at last count!1), the one feature I'm appreciating more than any other is a short internodal length. It looks nicer, sure, but the practical reason is that compact plants are easier to cram together on the shelves without everybody getting tangled up in one another. And Heidi is compact as a motherfucker.2

I'm pretty sure she's a cross between 'Gemini' and the NOID red; the 'Gemini' part I know, because it was the seed parent, and the only option for pollen parent that could produce heavy dark green leaves like this is the NOID red. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, but I'm pretty sure that's a NOID red midvein, too -- it's narrower than usual, or its color doesn't contrast much against the rest of the leaf, or something like that. Whatever quality it is.

I don't have any set criteria, exactly, for which seedlings qualify to get moved up to a 6-inch pot and which don't.3 A while ago, I tried making a spreadsheet and giving them multiple ratings on a whole bunch of different factors, which is the way many of the current 6-inch plants came to be in 6-inch pots, but for the more recent batch, there's not a lot of point to trying to rank them against one another, because I don't have any space anyway.4 Eventually, I would like to promote at least these five:

• 0360 "Heidi Gosique" (acceptable bloom color, good foliage, resistant to thrips, compact, slow bloom)
0206 "Marcia Dimes" (good bloom color, acceptable foliage, resistant to thrips, compact, fast blooming)
0357 "Rhea Litre" (acceptable bloom color, good foliage, resistant to thrips, compact, fast blooming), and
• two others, which will be named on September 11 and 17 (if I'm able to keep to the posting schedule I've set for myself).


1 I keep meaning to put together a mosaic image with all the blooms to date in it, just for the hell of it, but I can't keep up. Maybe for the 100th bloom or something.
2 (motherfuckers being recognizable primarily by their compactness)
3 Though as with people, success comes a lot easier if you have the right parents: seedlings of 'Orange Hot,' the NOID purple, 'Krypton,' and 'Peppermint Gemini' have a slight edge on getting themselves up-potted, because there aren't many seedlings of any of them to begin with, and I'd like to keep their genes in circulation. Seedlings of the NOID red are also more likely to stick around, not because they're rare but because they have a lot of traits I like.
4 I've probably said this before, but in case I haven't: in the same amount of shelf space, I can fit 32 3-inch seedlings, 9 4-inch seedlings, or 3 6-inch seedlings. So moving a plant up a size is pretty serious, because there's then so much less space available for smaller plants. Hence my plan to do a purge of the 4-inch seedlings at some point. As of 5 August, I have 462 3-inch seedlings, 247 4-inch seedlings, and 38 6-inch seedlings.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Anthurium no. 0281 "Laganja Estranja"

Laganja tried to bloom a long time ago, but aborted (likely the result of the "white oil" spraying, an attempt to bring the thrips to heel that turned out to be futile), and then took a long time getting around to trying again. She was arguably not worth the wait:

I mean, nothing especially wrong with that, but I have so many LPAs1 already, and no idea what to do with them all. Some LPAs have better foliage than Laganja, and most are more compact and less tangle-prone, so she's not bringing a whole lot to the table.

She does have one thing in her favor, which is that like her siblings in sibling group AT,2 she seems to bloom quickly and prolifically. I don't think that will be enough to save her, but it might delay the decision briefly.


1 (= Little Pink Anthuriums)
2 Group AT: 'White Gemini' seed parent; 19 May 2012 sow date. AT group seedlings you may remember, or will meet soon:
0271 "Wanda Reulthemal" (pink / pink)
0273 "Wes Coast" (pink / pink, deceased)
0275 "Yvette Horizon" (pink / pink)
0276 "Zach Religious" (pink / pink-orange)
0277 "Zach Treplica" (pink, in progress)
0279 "Tristan Shout" (pink / pink)
0280 "Jujubee" (pk-red / yel)
0282 "Dave Trading" (red / yel)
0283 "Anne Pursand" (pink / pink, deceased)
0288 "Cookie Buffet" (pink / pink)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pretty picture: Masdevallia murex

Some of the photos of this species that I found elsewhere on-line are a lot more appealing to look at than this one; it's possible that the flower has not fully opened or something.

Even more disappointing than the photo of this particular Masdevallia is the fact that this was the only Masdevallia I saw at the 2015 show. (Or at least it's the only one I got a photo of: I assume that means it was the only one I saw.)

I don't quite get the species name, either. It doesn't look like a sea snail, at least no more so than any of the other Masdevallias I've seen. Basically this one's just confusing and/or disappointing all the way through.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Anthurium no. 0351 "Pat McCooter"

When I started assigning drag queen names to the different seedlings, I didn't know how many names I was going to need, or how many drag queens were even out there in the first place. So I told myself that I was going to accept as many possible names as I could, without passing judgment on the possible offensiveness of the name (e.g. "Pat McCooter," hence this preamble), the performer as a person (e.g. Phi Phi O'Hara, who was memorably awful in RuPaul's Drag Race's 4th season), their act (e.g. Sharon Needles, who has occasionally tried so hard to shock or provoke that she's crossed the line into being blatantly racist, which, ugh), or whatever. And mostly I've done that.1 I've also tried not to investigate any of the real-life queens whose names I'm using, for fear of losing a name option, so you must never, ever, ever assume that getting a seedling named for some real-life queen automatically means that I know or approve of them or their act. As with most large groups of people, some of them are sure to be awful, and a few of them will be saintly, many of them will just be Not Your Kind Of Thing, and most of them will be all three to some degree or another.

This is all my way of noting that yeah, "Pat McCooter" is likely to be offensive or objectionable to some people who read this blog,2 and while I'm not necessarily happy if someone is given offense, I made a decision some time ago not to care too much about name offensiveness because I didn't think I could afford to get too picky.

As time's gone on, I've wound up with four separate lists of names. One, the "acceptable" ones which are currently being used, or in the queue to use for future seedlings, is very long (currently: 756 used, 636 queued). Two, a short list of names which would be acceptable except that part of the name names or implies a color, which only works if the plant agrees to bloom in that color, and since I don't know when I assign names what colors seedlings are going to bloom in, color-based names wind up being unusable.3, 4 Three, a short list of names which are so distasteful that even though I had previously decided that it was okay to use offensive names, I hesitate to use them anyway.5 Four, a long list of names awaiting judgment, most of which will wind up being discarded.6

This is all potentially overkill. At the moment, I only have enough room for about 800 seedlings, max, so in theory if I had a list of 800 acceptable names, I could just recycle those over and over. The trouble is that every time I think I've hit maximum capacity, I find ways to squeeze even more plants into the same space. There are no guarantees that I'm going to stay at 800, and odds are good that I'll find ways to keep expanding.

So that is my explanation for why this one is named "Pat McCooter." There is at least one real person who performs under that name, as well.7

Which I guess brings us, finally, to the seedling itself.

Pat is one of the seedlings in the mid-300s who have produced pink blooms. Seedling group AW8 is about 50-50 red and pink spathes so far, though Pat is the only AW sibling with a slightly orange spadix. Pat reminds me of no. 0276 "Zach Religious" more than any of the other AWs, but then Zach was also a 'White Gemini' seedling. They could easily be full siblings, just sown five months apart.

Pat's bloom photographed well, but the leaves are a little rough,

and the plant as a whole seems to have been struggling with some problem or another. Thrips, probably.

Is Pat a keeper? If forced to guess right now, I'd say probably not, but I'm reserving judgment. Once I've seen how this bloom ages, and seen how long Pat takes to produce a second bloom, I'll be better equipped to make a decision.


1 There is one drag performer whose act is so obnoxious to me that I made a deliberate early decision not to name a seedling after her. For obvious reasons, I'm not going to identify them by name here in the footnote, but you're free to guess. I'll confirm if someone guesses correctly.
2 If it isn't, rest assured that there's probably one somewhere in the list that is. Unless you're just really hard to offend.
3 Examples: "Billy Black," "Violet Chachki," "Mr. Green Teal."
4 I'm toying with the idea of assigning color-based names retroactively for seedlings where I don't like the current name, or where the current name was assigned before I started worrying about color-based names. Like if 0084 "Chocolate Sunrise" blooms in some color other than brown, as it almost surely will, I might assign it a new, more color-appropriate name. I haven't done it so far partly for fear of what this would do to the Anthurium-seedling paperwork, all the spreadsheets and stuff that would need to be changed. The paperwork fear has also kept me from swapping out a few names that strike me as less clever now than they did when they first went on the list. Probably I'll do at least a few name changes, sooner or later. Spreadsheets be damned.
5 A surprisingly large number of these are drag king names, for reasons which would probably become clear if I stopped and thought about it for a while. Examples: "Dixon Cider," "Sarahbelle Palsy," "Tatiana Rexia," "Hunter Downe," "Pussy Tourette."
6 Some of them are names that I came up with but think may not be clever enough, or drag-queenish enough, to use: "Blanche D'Almonz," "Angel-Bert Humperdink," "Ayleen Versus-Predator," etc.
Some are names that I haven't been able to decide whether they belong in the offensive-names list or not: "Glennda Orgasm," "Amanda Sue Punchfuk." (Though looking at it now, I'm inclined to say Glennda, at least, is okay.)
Some are names used by actual performers that I think may not be clever or memorable enough (a lot of these are also drag king names): "Jackson," "Mick Swagger," "Billy King."
Some are names I'm working on creating but only have half of, i.e., names in progress: "_________ Von Trapp," "Sprinkles _________."
7 I have been assuming, maybe incorrectly, that drag queen names tended to be punny in the past because it was dangerous enough to cross-dress without using your actual name, too. As long as you're a performer, and you're going to have to change your name anyway, why not change it to something that gets you a laugh in your introduction? As drag has gotten more popular and accepted, it seems that the names based in wordplay have been dying out in favor of names which advertise a personal relationship (like, it's not unusual for a performer to take the surname of a mentor; Roxxxy Andrews' name honors her drag mother Erica Andrews, for example), or which project a certain over-the-top glamour ("Trinity Kardashian Bonet"). Plus, it's now useful to have a unique name to perform under, for social media, Google searches, personal (ugh) branding, and so forth. But at one time, there were some drag names that, as far as I can tell, didn't belong to anyone in particular. "Anita Mann," "Ida Slapter," that sort of thing. "Pat McCooter" may or may not be one of those. There's definitely a performer in and around Memphis, Tennessee who performs under that name, but it's a common enough joke name that several of the sites that come up in a search don't appear to be related to that particular performer. Clearly, more research is needed.
8 (Seed parent: 'White Gemini;' sow date: 16 October 2012)