Saturday, November 28, 2015

Schlumbergera seedling no. 105

TinEye came up with an unusually food-centric list of suggestions this time. I mean, with the orange Schlumbergera seedlings, I usually get a lot of tomatoes and strawberries (so tired of tomato pictures), with the occasional carrot, pomegranate, or crawfish for variety, but this color brings up . . . well, more tomatoes, strawberries, pomegranates, and crawfish, sure, but also tuna, king crab, and watermelon, in addition to the names I'm actually considering. So that was exciting.

Also exciting: it's a handsome bloom. I probably find it more appealing than it deserves, because I don't see this color very often, but I think I'd be pleased regardless.

Got 34 initial options, and managed to bring that down to 11 contenders. Let's Name! That! Seedling!

I can cross off Anjuna pretty quickly, I think. I mean, this could be an Anjuna (a small city in India) if it had to be, but fortunately there are options I like better.

Rectifier is an okay word, and would sort of fit this, I think, but it's a little abstract. Unless you mean the electrical devices, which are concrete but not especially interesting.

Rambutan is a tropical fruit, native to Malaysia and Indonesia, and it sure photographs the same color as this seedling, but I'm a little concerned about the name because: 1) I don't know whether it looks at all the same color in person, and 2) it's not something most Americans are familiar with, and I worry that it'd be confusing in the way that naming a seedling Schlumbergera "Camellia" would be confusing. In some contexts, it might be a problem. If it were a food-related word that was also a common color description, like "peach" or something, it might be usable.1, 2

I'm pretty sure Recompose Area came up last year. I love the idea dearly, but worry that it wouldn't translate well to a plant name.

And then Fire Box also comes pretty close; certainly there's something fiery about the color of the petals here, but I have some better color matches (fire is usually orange/yellow anyway, right?) remaining.

So what's left? Four foods, a city, and a body part.

Cranberry (also)


Raspberry (also) (also) (also)


Santa Fe


Narrowing things down among these six options was really tough, and took a long time to do. Santa Fe was discarded because Google image search says that the predominant colors of Santa Fe, New Mexico are tan, brown, and beige, not red. Artery is kind of gross. Then, some kind of subconscious magic happened, over the span of a couple days, and I decided that I wanted to go with rhubarb, but not just the word "Rhubarb:" it needed something else.

Rhyming dictionaries turned up nothing useful ("Rhubarb Garb?"). A pun generator I've used before didn't know what to do with "rhubarb," though it did suggest an option I sort of liked (Rhubarbarian). Finally, a song-lyrics site search also got me to a recipe I kind of liked. (The lyric is "rhubarb berry fool," but search engines tell me that the dish is usually called "berry rhubarb fool."3) Which not only gets the rhubarb, but has raspberry and cranberry sort of covered besides.

So: Rhubarbarian, or Berry Rhubarb Fool?

Rhubarbarian: one word long; shorter to type. I imagine there are people who would be turned off by "fool." Potentially trademarked.4

Berry Rhubarb Fool: the color seems more edible than barbaric. Sort of like naming the seedling for a berry and rhubarb simultaneously. I imagine there are people who would be turned off by "barbarian." Unlikely to be trademarked.

In the end, although I would like something shorter, because I expect to be typing it a lot, Berry Rhubarb Fool is probably the better name. So there it is. Fingers crossed that the next one is easier to christen, because this took a lot more time and thought than it should have.


1 There's also something about the sound of the word "rambutan" itself that doesn't quite fit this flower. In the same way that "Alberta" did fit 054B despite not making any objective sense, "Rambutan" doesn't seem quite right for 105A even though I can't think of a good reason against it.
2 Though the aroid naming guidelines I found said not to name plants "simple descriptive words like 'Red', 'Giant White' or 'Small'." "Peach" is probably too general and simple to work, then, if this is an official rule. Names are complicated.
3 The actual song is titled "Everything I Saw," and belongs to The Weather Station. It's on SoundCloud, of course: link. I like it okay, though it helps that I read the lyrics first (the enunciation is patchy). Banjophobes should steer clear.
4 I know. I wouldn't have thought so either, but when I did a search for the word, and . . . it's out there a lot already.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Pretty picture: Paphiopedilum concolor

Aww. It's like a dalmatian puppy that was magically transformed into a Paphiopedilum. Adorable.

Paphiopedilum concolor is native to Southeast Asia (China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam), and naturally flowers in spring and autumn. Wikipedia claims it was first described in 1984, but The Plant List says 1888. (GRIN almost agrees, saying 1889.) So: off by 96 years, give or take. And Wikipedia was wrong about the parasitic orchid thing, too. Remember this the next time I quote Wikipedia about something.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Schlumbergera seedling no. 091

I'm beginning to feel sorry that I ever complained about how slowly the Schlumbergeras were blooming. They've certainly picked up speed since. As I write this (18 November), blog posts are already planned out through Boxing Day, and twelve of those posts are for new Schlumbergera seedlings.1 I mean, I guess I'm happy to be seeing new blooms and everything, and I do have time to write the posts: it's not really a crisis. But keeping track of where all the posts are, and how close they are to being finished, is sort of overwhelming.

091A is okay. Hard to be too impressed with it, at this point -- it takes a lot more for a seedling to stand out now -- but there doesn't seem to be anything especially wrong with it, either. Sometimes the right name can make a big difference, though; maybe 091A will be lucky. Let's find out.

TinEye gave me 28 possible names this time, which reduced down to 9 actual candidates. In the order they were eliminated:

All Bath Toy has going for it is that there are almost certainly bath toys for children with these colors. I don't like it otherwise, and the name wouldn't have made the short list except for the fact that most of the long-list options were even less appealing.

Pepperland would make a lot more sense for a red flower. I mean, I'm aware of orange peppers, and even occasionally pink peppers, but they're not what I think of when I think "pepper." Also, I think almost any word would pair more interestingly with "pepper" than "land" does.

They're cool animals, and not thought about nearly often enough, but I reject Hummingbird Moth on the grounds that I got another animal option from TinEye that does a better job of imitating Schlumbergera blooms' shape. Perhaps some other seedling, some other day.

The colors are plausibly circus / carnival / fair sorts of colors, so Funhouse could maybe be appropriate, but I . . . kind of hate funhouses?

There's nothing dramatically wrong with Dream Haze as a name, but I can't come up with anything especially positive to say about it either.

At this point, I suddenly realize that I've decided on a name without being consciously aware of doing so. For the sake of completeness, the other options were Rumble Strip (also, also), the name for the sections of road that make low-pitched buzzing-type noises when you drive across them. Naming a seedling after them might have been a useful way for me to remember what they're called, but I wasn't really feeling a connection between the name and seedling. Genesis is not obviously wrong, and abstract enough to be able to fit anything, but I wasn't thrilled with the connections to the Bible and the rock band, not to mention the thousands of other things named "Genesis." And the seedling hasn't generated much of anything so far, either, as far as that goes. Finally, Young Hollywood (also), which I can kind of see a connection between the bloom color and all the neon signs of my imaginary Hollywood, but I feel like young people, Hollywood, and young people in Hollywood all get plenty of attention already and don't need a seedling too.

Which leaves our winner: Flying Fish. The color is not related at all (the photo is of a meal from a restaurant called "Flying Fish;"2 actual flying fish are silver), but do an image search for "flying fish" sometime and tell me you don't think their shape is evocative of Schlumbergera blooms.


1 Also one Anthurium, and seven orchids. I even have plans for three posts about plants that are none of the above.
2 I still don't understand the impulse to photograph one's meals, for the record.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Schlumbergera seedling no. 034

034A isn't groundbreaking -- there have been plenty of orange/pinks so far,1 and while it's pleasant, I wouldn't say it does the orange/pink thing significantly better than they do. So let's jump to the naming.

Only 23 initial candidates from TinEye (and here is a link to the color search results, if you're curious), only five of which seemed plausible final names.

Two of the five held some appeal but were pretty easy to eliminate: Lobster Roll seemed like a good, off-the-wall color match, but did nothing for me otherwise. Engelchen, which Google Translate translates from German as "little angel," is cloying and awful to me in English, but in German it's at least worth considering. I mean, I ultimately decided I didn't like it that well in German either, but I did have to stop and think about it for a while first.

So then it was a battle between Soft Light, For Kissing, and Wahine.

For Kissing seems like a problem because the most direct read of it suggests that the plant, or flower, is what should be kissed. Not really the intention. I was thinking of it more as "this is the plant one places in a room when kissing is being planned." Probably the abbreviated version of that doesn't make for a very clear name. So . . . no?

Soft Light would maybe work better for a lighter-colored bloom; I feel like these colors may be too saturated and dark to count as "soft."

Which leaves Wahine.2 It means "Polynesian woman;"3 online dictionaries also list "young woman surfer," though that seems to be less widespread. I was wary of Wahine largely because I was taught, in grade school, that "squaw" was a neutral term for Native American women, then learned later that that's pretty hotly disputed. I couldn't find anything on-line suggesting that anyone had a problem with wahine, though, and the husband4 said he thought it had a positive connotation, if anything. So we'll go with Wahine for 034A, unless new information comes in to make me change my mind.


1 (012 "Sofa Fort," 21B "Birthday Dinner," 028B "Neon Like," 030A "Diwali," 035A "Patito," 060A "Wet Dog," 073A "Laurie Anderson," 088A "Cyborg Unicorn," 099A "Dessert Room," 113A "Helper Dog")
2 Pronounced either wah-HEE-nay or wah-HEE-nee. I favor "nay," personally, though I feel like I've heard "nee" more often.
3 Well, it's the Māori and Hawaiian word for "woman." Depending on the context, it may or may not specify a Polynesian woman.
4 (who lived in Hawaii for several years)