Saturday, February 20, 2016

Anthurium no. 0115 "Erlene Adopter"

The seed which would eventually be known as 0115 Erlene Adopter was sown in December 2011. In April 2014, I divided it into eight different pots. Partly this was because I couldn't be sure that there was only a single seedling in the original pot; I don't pots multiple seedlings together anymore, but I did sometimes when I first started trying to grow Anthuriums from seed, because I didn't expect many of the seedlings to survive.1

Of those eight pots (number 0115, and 0580 to 0586), three have produced blooms (0115 Erlene Adopter, 0580 Marsha Marsha Marsha, 0586 Vera Special), one budded but the bud didn't fully develop (0581 Adam All), one just never quite managed to grow much and was thrown out eight months after the division (0583 Manny Nuff), and the remaining three plants are still around but haven't budded yet (0582 Lucinda Forest, 0584 Lee Machetti, and 0585 Twitch).

There's plenty of reason to assume that the four plants to have budded are all offsets of the same seedling. The three blooms are indistinguishable,2

(L-R): 0115 Erlene Adopter, 0580 Marsha Marsha Marsha, 0586 Vera Special.

as are the four buds,

Top row: 0580 Marsha Marsha Marsha, 0581 Adam All, 0115 Erlene Adopter. Bottom: 0586 Vera Special.
Adam didn't progress much beyond where it is in the photo, so I know the picture isn't directly comparable, but trust me, it was headed toward the exact same shade of orange as the other buds.

and all seven survivors even do the same weird thing with their leaves, where parts suddenly go yellow in a symmetrical sort of way, though I don't have a good picture of Erlene, specifically, doing that.3

It's possible that some of the three plants which haven't budded yet might be genetically different, but Erlene, Marsha, Adam, and Vera all appear to be clones of the same original seedling, a seedling which is an offsetting monster.4

Erlene, last September, after producing a fuckton of new offsets to replace the ones I removed in 2014. Pot size is 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.

What all this means is that, without ever intending to, I find myself with a bunch of copies of the same plant, and it's a plant that happens to offset a ton, so I should have no trouble making a bunch more whenever I want. It also appears to be unusually resistant to scale. (I don't think I've ever seen a scale insect on any of the eight divisions, which is damn near miraculous.) It's not immune to thrips, but it's at least better than most; it produces pollen and can be pollinated; and the blooms are reasonably large and nicely-colored.

So. Although I would like to know what's causing the yellowing first, Erlene is likely to be the first Anthurium seedling I offer for sale. That wouldn't necessarily happen this year; still a lot of stuff to work out w/r/t Anthurium selling. But the Erlenes will probably be on the list whenever it gets made.


1 This was a huge mistake. If you ever decide to try to breed some of your own plants together, give them all their own individual pots. Yes, you'll need more pots and soil that way, and yes, you'll probably wind up throwing out a lot of soil, but wasting soil is better than the complications that result from making seedlings share pots.
2 They're actually even harder to tell apart than you'd expect from the composite photo. The differences in shade are the result of them being photographed at different ages (the spathes are slightly darker and redder when they first open) and under different lighting conditions.
3 Here are leaves from 0580 Marsha Marsha Marsha (top) and 0581 Adam All (bottom), though:

These are both extreme examples. Normally the yellow is just a few streaks on either side of the midrib, and they don't connect to one another to make the netlike patterns you see in the photos, but the subtler yellowing doesn't show up well in photos, so.
4 My bet would be that Lucinda, Lee, and Twitch are also clones of Erlene: though all three are a bit stunted by comparison to the other four, they've all done the weird yellowing thing, which I've only seen on other divisions of Erlene's, and the leaves of all seven plants are of similar shape, color, and texture besides. Should they ever bloom, I'll really, really know that they're 0115 clones, but I'm pretty sure anyway.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pretty picture: Jackfowlieara Appleblossom

I like this one a lot too, though it isn't new: it's been on PATSP before, as Collierara Apple Blossom, in 2010.

It also has connections to a few other orchids you've seen before: it's the pollen parent of 2013's Jackfowlieara Lindiwe, and the offspring of Caulaelia Snowflake, also a favorite of mine, which we've seen in 2013 and 2014.

I like Appleblossom's shape a lot. It's not that it's so terribly different from other Cattleya-type orchids so much as the labellum has exactly the right amount of ruffliness, and the other sepals are pointed just the right amount. This may or may not be correct according to orchid-judging rules,1 but I'm a rebel and stuff. The color doesn't hurt either. I like pink and yellow together. Why not?

Jackfowlieara Appleblossom = Caulaelia Snowflake x Rhyncattleanthe Orange Nuggett2 (Ref.)


1 Are there general rules for judging broad categories like "Cattleya Alliance," where a certain petal angle or lip ruffle is desirable but others aren't? (I mean, I know that orchid breeders see certain qualities as more desirable than others, so is it the same in shows?) Is every Jackfowlieara Appleblossom judged only against other Jackfowlieara Appleblossoms? Or something in between? I have no experience with orchid-show judging and barely even pay attention to the ribbons at the show (all the plants seem to get ribbons; it barely registers with me what color any of the ribbons are unless I happen to get one in the frame of a photo, and even then I don't notice them until after I get home and I'm looking through the pictures), so I have no idea how any of this works. What are they even getting judged on? Is it all just political, and you get ribbons if people like you personally? Are there superdelegates?
2 "Nuggett" is apparently not a misspelling; several cvv. in the orchid registry contain it, mostly Rhyncattleanthes. I imagine either they're all named after the same person, or they're all produced by the same person. Or both. I didn't check.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Random plant event: Hoya obovata

In July 2010, I got a couple cuttings of Hoya obovata from a PATSP reader. They looked like this:

A year later, they looked like this:

September 2012:

September 2013:

After 2013, I got seriously into the plant-breeding stuff and I no longer had time to document my plants' appearances every year, plus the plant got too big to do that with anyway, but you get the point. It keeps getting bigger.

I never expected it to do anything for me; indeed, considering my history of Sudden Hoya Death Syndrome,1 I didn't expect it would survive long enough to do anything, but it's still around in 2016, and it's bloomed.

This happened quietly: I didn't notice anything was going on until I saw the first buds on 22 January,

and then I forgot about them because I assumed they would take a long time to develop, so I was surprised to find opened flowers on 5 February.

Like most Hoyas, the flowers are strongly scented; unlike most Hoyas, I don't like the scent. It's floral, and sort of makes me think of some kind of very strong carnation-rose combination, similar to H. lacunosa, but it has an extra something going on that makes me find it unpleasant.2 It's just me; the husband doesn't pick up on it. Fortunately, the scent doesn't permeate the whole house, the way some blooming plants can, and I can't even smell it in the same room unless I'm standing close. So it's not really a problem, but I'm still disappointed: I would have preferred something more like the florist's-cooler smell of H. lacunosa.

The appearance could also be more exciting. I mean, I get that not every Hoya can be H. bella, but these aren't even as pretty as H. carnosa, which is as ordinary a Hoya as there is.

I had actually been contemplating trying to sell, give away, or throw out this plant, prior to seeing the buds, because it had never done anything interesting enough to justify keeping it around, and it takes up a lot of room, approximately half of a 1.5' x 4' (0.5 m x 1.2 m) shelf. I've also been worried about it getting scale for the last four years, though I have yet to see any.3 Now that it's bloomed, I'm . . . still thinking about selling it, giving it away, or throwing it in the trash. I do like the leaves, but I could really use that half a shelf. The Anthuriums and Schlumbergeras keep reproducing and growing, and, to be blunt, I like the Anthuriums and Schlumbergeras a lot better.

So, if any U.S. readers are interested and want to wait a couple months for a very large and unwieldy Hoya with blooms that may or may not smell badly, which probably doesn't have scale but could, and which may or may not die suddenly, shoot me an e-mail. It's possible something might be arranged. Otherwise, I'll probably take my chances with Craigslist.


1 Still no idea what the explanation for SHDS is. Some kind of root rot, I guess, since the victims usually don't have much of a root system by the time the plant dies, but there's not really a convenient way to find out what's going on before that. There's never any warning, hence the "Sudden" part of "Sudden Hoya Death Syndrome."
2 Looking back through the archives, I didn't care for H. nummularioides' smell either.
3 Which doesn't mean they aren't there. My understanding is that Hoyas are normally pretty susceptible to scale and mealybugs, though, so if they're there, you'd think I would have seen at least one at some point. Maybe my particular species of scale isn't into Hoyas?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Schlumbergera seedling no. 066 (again)

I just couldn't bring myself to do TinEye again. I mean, I started, but all the photos that came up were ones I'd seen before, and I couldn't stand the idea of going through 20 pages of the same old photos again, just to come up with a bunch of names that I mostly wouldn't like. I needed a new strategy. Temporarily. Just until I was a little less burnt-out on TinEye.1

Unfortunately, the best I could come up with was a variation on the kitchen-sink approach I used for 089A Halloween Moon: about a third of the names on the long list were previously-rejected options that seemed like they might fit okay, another third were names that occurred to me as I went about my business without actually trying to come up with anything, and the remaining third were names I managed to wring from the Wikipedia "random page" function. I say "wring from" because Wikipedia is bizarrely fixated on places, in particular railroad stations; athletes, in particular dead ones; and moths. So many moths. So getting to a useful article takes time and patience.2

So, the short list for seedling 066B, a pretty good orange and pink whose main fault is that it hasn't produced very many blooms yet:3 Annie Lennox, Bachelor Beau, Charo, Make Believe, Rockamundo, Sigrid the Haughty, and Theia.

Both Bachelor Beau and Rockamundo are previously-considered racehorse names. I'm throwing out the latter on the grounds that I feel like it wants a redder bloom, or at least a darker orange one, and Bachelor Beau got less appealing the more I thought about it, though I can't explain how that happened.

Make Believe is a really weird way to put words together, if you think about it. We don't add "make" to very many other verbs; nobody says "make think" or "make imagine," for example. "Make do" is a thing, but that's the only other one I could think of.4 This has nothing to do with its suitability as a name, but I think it's interesting. As a name, it's a little abstract, compared to the other options, and my main association is to the Land of Make-Believe, from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Which I mainly watched on a black and white TV when I was a kid, so even though I know it was colorful, I don't necessarily remember it that way.5 In any case, Make Believe also has the problem that it sort of implies that the plant doesn't actually exist. I don't know how big of an issue that would really be, but any reason counts if it lets me cross off a name.

She's an acquired taste, admittedly, but I love living in a world that has Charo in it.

Not sure I love it so much that I want to name a seedling for her. At least not yet. But I won't rule it out, either. I mean, she's an amazing guitarist, she's funny, and she seems nice in person.6 I think I'm a little uncomfortable with how much of her shtick is about not being completely fluent in English: I don't think people should be encouraged to laugh at that. On the other hand, she's had an incredibly long career, and I'm certain that she knows what she's doing, so if she's not bothered by it then maybe I shouldn't be either. We'll add her name to the list and see if it comes up again later.

Which leaves three.

Sigrid the Haughty is a probably-mythic figure from Norse sagas, who would be great for her name alone, but the stories sound fantastic. She gets her epithet from a story in which, following the death of her first husband, Eric the Victorious, she was pursued by multiple suitors, including her foster brother Harald. Rather than remarry, she is said to have invited her suitors to a great hall for a feast and then burned them to death. To "discourage other suitors," as Wikipedia dryly puts it. (I know it would discourage me.)

Sigrid then turned down a marriage proposal from King Olaf of Norway, who wanted her to convert to Christianity as one of the conditions of the marriage. She refused, and he struck her with a glove. "This may some day be thy death," she told him, and then worked to create a coalition to, basically, kick Olaf's royal ass. As you do. (Sigrid got Sweden and Denmark to go to war against Norway, it went poorly for Norway, and King Olaf leapt into the sea and drowned rather than be captured.)

So I kind of love Sigrid.7 Sigrid the Haughty is maybe a little long for a name, but it wouldn't be unprecedented.

Then there's Annie Lennox, whose virtues were already discussed in the post for 079B Haleakala, and who kicks ass in her own ways (though she's probably not burned anybody alive).

Finally, Theia is both one of the Titans of Greek Mythology and a planet-sized body hypothesized to have created the Moon by crashing into the Earth, during the early days of the Solar System. Theia the Titan gave birth to Helios, Selene, and Eos (the Sun, Moon, and Dawn, respectively), but aside from being, apparently, very shiny (lots of references to glittering and brightness), she doesn't appear to have suffered from an abundance of personality. Theia the hypothetical planet is mostly used to explain why the Earth and Moon have similar compositions, how the Earth wound up with a satellite that is so big, relative to its mass, and why it appears that the Moon had a molten surface at one time.

So. Theia is at least a nice short name, and one unlikely to be in use already, but it just isn't as emotionally satisfying as the other two, so I have no problem setting it aside for a later seedling. However, trying to decide between Annie Lennox, who I've been acquainted with for years and years and love, and Sigrid the Haughty, who I've only just met but also love, is just impossible.

I wound up having to think about it for a couple days before I could make a decision, and even then, I still waver a bit. I suspect my readers probably favor Annie, and I hate to disappoint, but I think my heart belongs to Sigrid. Annie'll still get a seedling eventually, I'm sure. I mean, Cyndi Lauper had to wait a year, but she got one. So 066B is Sigrid the Haughty. Apologies to anyone who's disappointed. (At least I didn't try to discourage you.)


1 I have, by the way, looked for other sites that allow color-specific image searches, but there aren't very many, and the other ones are all terrible for my purposes.
Google Image Search will permit searching by color, to a degree, but you can't put any specific hue in; you're limited to about a dozen broad options ("orange"), and you have to search for some other word as well ("orange person," "orange bug"). Which means that the entertaining randomness of TinEye is thwarted before I ever start seeing photos.
Another tool gives you a broader range of color options to choose from, but you still can't enter any HTML color code you want. You can also only choose one color at a time, and it only returns like twelve results, with no option to get more. (Also, choosing any of the oranges mostly returned pictures of other flowers. Not helpful.)
And I think I found a third site somewhere that would permit searching for a specific HTML color code, but only one at a time. And it produced something other than flower pictures. The down sides: the number of results was tiny, like eight or something, instead of flowers it was mostly autumn foliage, and I can no longer find the site.
So TinEye appears to be it, and TinEye isn't enough.
I've also tried generating random words from on-line random-word generators, which can occasionally generate something worth considering, but there's a lot more to sift through before I find anything I might like, and I don't even get to be entertained by odd images as I do it.
2 But if you keep at it, you learn interesting things. It's probably better for random educational opportunities than TinEye. Examples:
I learned from the Wikipedia entry on samizdat (basically material forbidden for Soviet citizens to possess, during the Cold War: books, pamphlets, recordings, and so forth) that x-ray film of the time was substantial enough that one could make it into phonograph records, like the flexible plastic records one used to see in magazines occasionally, back before cassettes and CDs completely took over. Which I find delightful.
And I learned that the name for a winged dragon with two feet, which one sees from time to time in heraldry and flags and whatnot, is not called a "dragon" but is instead a wyvern. Wyvern was on the long list of name options for this seedling, but I didn't like it enough for this seedling to consider it on the short list.
3 (I don't know how many. Possibly only the one. I have enough things to keep track of around here without trying to document every single bloom produced by every single plant.)
4 Usually "make" gets paired with prepositions to make phrasal verbs like "make up" or "make out," or it's paired with adjectives to produce slangy, idiomatic stuff like "make nice" and "make known." "Make believe" is just weird.
5 Incidentally: some of the episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood are on Netflix now, so the husband and I watched one a while back, just for shiggles, and it was amazing. Seriously. Fred Rogers should get a seedling.
6 Maybe also exhausting in person. But nice.
7 Those were, unfortunately, the only two stories about her that were at all easy to track down on the internet, and there wasn't much detail about either. I want someone to write some new ones. Maybe as like a comic book? I would read the shit out of a Sigrid the Haughty comic.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Schlumbergera seedling no. 103 (again)

103B is sort of good news / bad news, in that I like the color a lot (Not orange! It's a Valentine's Day miracle!), but it's only produced one bloom so far, so I don't have much of a sense of its actual quality.1

Not only does it have very good coloration for a Valentine's Day post, the colors seemed to prompt TinEye to come up with a more Valentine's-friendly set of names than one would otherwise expect. Out of nine options on the short list, five are love-and-romance themed, with a sixth that isn't really about love or romance but is certainly love-and-romance friendly. The remaining three names are probably at a disadvantage, but who knows. Let's see what happens.2

The nine options, in alphabetical order, are:

David Lynch, which, okay, not romantic at all, but it made me laugh to see it in the results, and it actually showed up twice in TinEye, so it's certainly trying really hard. And there's an argument to be made for certain parts of certain Lynch films being romantic to some degree or another. I mean, it's not a good argument. But a person could still try. Mulholland Drive, at least. Maybe. A little. In places.

Go Radish Go is a combination of Radish, which is actually super color-appropriate but has the naming-a-plant-for-a-plant problem, and
Go Sinner Go. I liked the "Go _______ Go" idea, but not with "sinner" in the blank. Therefore, Go Radish Go. It's dumb, but I like the way it sounds.

Laser is only barely appropriate, but red is a common enough color for lasers to be, so.

• The first of the actual love/romance options is Make-Out City, which has been considered previously.3 I liked it well enough to put it on the emergency list, and this was the only emergency-list option that seemed reasonable for this seedling.

Must Be Love is sort of obviously a Valentine's Day kind of name, though one wouldn't say the photo is particularly romantic.

Pomme D'Amour is, if I understand correctly, the French name for the English "candy apple," and translates literally as "love apple."4

Remote Kisses is actually referencing Hershey's kisses, in the photo, but there are a lot of ways one could interpret the name: someone being kissed by a remote control, someone kissing someone else while thinking about some other thing entirely, a couple sharing a passionate kiss in some jungle / desert / tundra / boat far from civilization, etc. Whether the ambiguity makes me like it more or less, I'm not sure, but it's at least one of the more complicated options.

Valentine's Day is super obvious, but hey, TinEye gave it to me, and I could hardly leave it off the list.

• And then finally Zooey Deschanel (twice), who isn't maybe particularly known for love and romance and whatever but is, at the very least, love-and-romance-friendly. Plus I really like "New Girl," and she seems pretty unlikely to become horrible.

So all right. I think I'll drop Zooey Deschanel first. Though she seems unlikely to become horrible, that's no guarantee of anything. I mean, I can think of at least five celebrities who once seemed fine but turned out to be awful in surprising ways.5 And she's still young enough to change plenty.

And Laser is a little plain. I mean, it could work, but it doesn't excite me at all. Probably needs a second word.

Valentine's Day is fine except for implying blooms on Valentine's Day. Which is pretty early, for spring blooming, and I don't want someone to expect something that the seedling can't deliver.

Go Radish Go is perhaps too silly.

As tickled as I am by the idea of David Lynch, and as relatively safe as I think he is as an honoree compared to other celebrities (certainly you can read a lot of awful stuff into his movies if you're determined to do so, but I don't think that depicting something on a screen is the same as endorsing it. And whatever his movies might be like, I feel like we probably know as much about his personal inner horribleness as we're ever going to learn, and he's not so bad.), I'm not ready to name a seedling after him yet. Maybe eventually, but not today.

Which leaves me with four love-and-romance names: Make-Out City, Must Be Love, Pomme D'Amour, and Remote Kisses.

My brain seems to want to interpret Remote Kisses to mean someone kissing another person while distracted or preoccupied with something else. I know there are other interpretations, but that's the one that comes to mind first, and it's kind of a downer. Which probably says more about me than it does about the name, but in any case I can't shake the impression, so I'll drop that one.

Make-Out City seems a little crass, compared to the other two. I don't necessarily have a problem with crass, but considering the occasion, it might be nice to have a name that sounds a little sweeter.

And given the choice between Pomme D'Amour and Must Be Love, well, I could only pronounce the latter with any confidence, ever. So it must be Must Be Love.


1 (The other red/pink Schlumbergeras -- 054A "Helpful Gesture," 074A "Vroom," 078A "Art Party," and 208A [name TBD] -- haven't produced many blooms either; I think this is coincidental, not related to them all being red/pinks, but it's a little worrisome all the same.)
2 I really do almost always figure these out as I write the post. You can tell by the way the posts meander, backtrack, repeat themselves, and occasionally fail to select a name.
3 (for 056A Demons Begone and 111A Morning Sun)
4 And the Thing I Learned from writing this particular seedling-naming post is that caramel apples are not the same thing as candy apples. All these years, I've thought "candy-apple red" was a weird color description, because the only sugar/apple combination I was familiar with is caramel apples, and caramel is brown and not red. But candy apples are a totally separate phenomenon. And having now seen some photos, "candy-apple red" makes a lot more sense.
In retrospect, it should probably have been obvious that caramel apples were not candy apples. But that's why it's fun to learn: a tiny sliver of the world that didn't make sense to me before makes sense to me now.
5 I won't name them specifically, because it sucks to find out that someone you liked and related to -- even if you only knew the characters they played and not the actual person -- is awful. I mean, do you really want to know?