Monday, May 2, 2016

Schlumbergera seedling no. 015

And we're back to the Schlumbergeras again. I doubt I'll go through the proper stages of grief regarding the Schlumbergera-thrips problem, but you've seen depression already, and "today" (27-30 April) I'm in denial.1 It has to be said, denial is a lot more pleasant. I can see why some people would decide to live here.

So, seedling 015. Dark orange / white, similar to 025A Clownfish or 023A Stoked. It's nice, I guess. I'm judging based on a single bloom, so we can't be certain about what it will do in the future, but the one bloom was nice.

And of course it needs a name. So.

Shape-related: I may have to retire this category soon. I don't have very many shape-related names to choose from. For today, let's go with Anzu, a figure from several Mesopotamian religions who is varying percentages of man, lion, and eagle, who can sometimes breathe fire and/or water, and is a monster, demon, deity, or some combination of the three.2 For our purposes, the important part is that there are usually wings involved.3 I feel like Anzu is doing a pretty good Schlumbergera impression in this image from Wikipedia.

Color-related: Campfire? Not sure how many more fire-related names I can come up with before I have to start making up words. I assume that some of the seedlings that are yet to bloom will be pink, white, magenta, or yellow, and as far as I'm concerned, they can't get here fast enough.

Previously-considered: Arcturus, an orange giant star in the constellation Boötes with a cool name, previously considered for 056A Demons Begone.

Pop cultural: I think this counts as a sufficiently vibrant orange to consider Paul's suggestion of Lucille Ball.

Whatever: Nielub, which will require explanation. The explanation was edited out of the Wikipedia article after I added the name to the emergency list, but I found it again in the edit history:
In pre-Christian traditions, a child less than 7–10 years old would bear a "substitutional name" (e.g. Niemój "Not mine", Nielub "Unloved"), the purpose of which was to deflect attention from the child and thereby to protect it from the curiosity of evil powers. The practice was largely the effect of the high mortality rate for young children at the time.[1] A child who survived to 7–10 years was considered worthy of care and was granted adult status and a new adult name during a ritual first haircut.[2]
I don't know whether thrips count as "evil powers" exactly, and of course it wouldn't have protected the Slavic children of yore from disease and death because that is not how diseases work, but the basic concept appeals to me anyway, and it fits nicely into that denial thing I'm trying. So we'll consider it.

Well. Campfire is right out. Color-accurate, sure, but there's already a Crassula campitella 'Campfire,' an Epiphyllum 'Campfire,' several Hemerocallis with "campfire" somewhere in the name, and so forth: even if there's no Schlumbergera by that name yet, the name's been done.

Arcturus is fine; I rejected it before on the grounds of being hard to pronounce, but it's not really that bad. I like other names from this group better, though, so it'll have to wait for another seedling. Ditto for Anzu.

And I do like Lucille Ball.4 If the thrips thing weren't happening right now, I'd probably go with that for the name, but Nielub is sort of too perfect, timing-wise. No doubt Arcturus and Lucille Ball will both end up as seedling names sooner or later, but this one is clearly a Nielub. In 7 to 10 years maybe I'll rename it.


1 Not denying that there are thips, just denying that it means anything. Perhaps they'll all go away before next fall. That's a thing that happens with bugs sometimes, right? That pests all just disappear magically and never ever come back?
2 Should the reader feel moved to snicker at the inconsistency in ancient Mesopotamians' portrayals of Anzu, consider that, going by his various portrayals, one could reasonably describe Satan as a winged or formerly-winged intermittently handsome entity who is varying percentages of man, goat, and angel, and either is or will be eternally tortured in either a lake of fire or a block of ice, in Hell, of which he is somehow also the absolute ruler.
I mean, hell, Superman is only eighty-three years old, and his powers, backstory, motivations, etc. have varied quite a bit in that time (especially lately). You tell enough stories about someone, you're going to wind up with inconsistent characterization; that's just how storytelling works.
3 I wouldn't even know about Anzu except that someone has named a genus of dinosaur after him.
4 (though it would be a stretch to say I love Lucy)


Paul said...

Interesting history/lore regarding naming of children. Seem to recall reading somewhere some when that a number of cultures will give a child a new name once they reach a certain age for basically the same reason you gave here-- once they reach that age, it is likely they will survive to maturity.

Unknown said...

I've been thinking about thrips and scale. I know you tried the oil and that was a bust - but have you tried an insecticidal soap? I found an interesting reference page at Mobot on the subject:

I use a diluted lavender oil based dog shampoo on my plants and I've had good success against both scale and mealy bug with it and doesn't seem to cause any harm to the plants - you might be able to combine the soap with your watering regime, by bottom watering with a diluted soap solution. Thrips pupate in the soil so you might be able to drown the little beasts!

Ciao, KK.