The most notable thing about Regina is that she is, I believe, the first Anthurium seedling to get a posthumous blog post. She got thrown out on 8 March due to a scale infestation.
Usually, having bloomed will buy a seedling a little more time, if they have scale -- I'll wipe the leaves off a couple times and see whether that helps -- but in her case, I'd already done that, and it wasn't helping. The infestation seemed to be advanced enough that I doubted I would be able to eliminate it, so out she goes.
Which wasn't a huge loss. I'm not sure what to blame, but virtually all of the seedlings with ID numbers between 400 and 554 have been disappointing, and all in the same kind of way. They're almost all pink, red, or shades in between, with either matching or yellow spadices; their leaves and spathes are badly scarred from thrips, or scale, or both; the few spathes that appear are smaller than average. There have been a few seedlings in this range that I deemed worthy of moving up to 6-inch pots,1 but not nearly as many as in the 200s and 300s.
For a while, I'd thought that maybe the 400-550 group was just unlucky, just happened to come of age at exactly the wrong moment to catch bad thrips infestations, and that's likely some of it: as the thrips have gotten under better control, the seedlings' leaves have improved, as described here. I've also thought maybe it was my fault, that maybe I just dropped the ball on care somehow (bad location? too many skipped waterings?) and that led to the whole group crapping out on me. I mean, they barely hold themselves together at all. When they can be bothered to bloom, the blooms are tiny, in boring colors, and are crappily executed.
But I think Regina sort of settled the question of whether the seedlings were unlucky or poorly-maintained, and the answer is, surprisingly, neither.
So this was Regina.
Not very interesting, except for one oddball trait she shared with 0527 Ms. Lucia Love
, which is that her spadices contrasted with the spathes when the bloom first opened, then darkened over time until it matched the spathe. The above photo was from 12 January. By 14 January, the spadix was already starting to redden and darken:
And by the 20th, the transformation was complete.
Regina and Lucia being the only two seedlings to do this so far, I naturally wondered what they had in common. Initially, the answer appeared to be not much. Regina's from seedling group BF ('Gemini' / 23 October 2013); Lucia's from group BH ('White Gemini' / 23 October 2013), so they have the same sow date, but different spathe colors and seed parents.2
However. Both BF and BH contain seedlings with characteristics that didn't come from 'Gemini' nor 'White Gemini.' Neither has ever shown any hint of a purple or magenta pigment, yet a few of the BF and BH seedlings bloomed a little bit purple.3
Neither 'Gemini' nor 'White Gemini' spadices start out contrasting with the spathe and then change color to match it, like 0527 Ms. Lucia Love and 0467 Regina Fong. And since the sow date was the same for both BF and BH, they could easily have the same pollen parent. So what pollen parent would have been around in early 2013, that contains purple pigmentation, and darkens its spadix over time to match the spathe? And is it a crappy, thrips-prone cultivar?
There are three possible parent Anthurium
varieties here which produce some kind of purple pigmentation: 'Krypton,' a NOID red-violet which may or may not also be 'Krypton,'4
and the NOID purple. The NOID purple can be eliminated on the grounds that its spadices match the spathe as soon as the spathe opens, but the other two both start out with lighter-colored blooms that darken over time. I don't take photos of every single bloom the plants produce, so I don't know whether 'Krypton' was blooming in early 2013 or not, but I do know that the NOID red-violet had a bloom in late 2012.
Neither 'Krypton' nor the NOID red-violet have ever had a problem with thrips; they live in the living room, and as far as I know, thrips have never been a big problem there, so they may never have been tested. One seedling of 'Krypton's, 0599 Butta, has definitely had a horrible time with thrips.5
There have never been any known seedlings of the NOID red-violet.
In any case, most of the signals seem to point toward either 'Krypton' or the NOID red-violet as being the likely pollen parent for most (if not all) of the seedlings in the BF and BH seedling groups. And, the BF and BH seedling groups make up 93% (all but 11) of the seedlings between #400 and #554. So I feel like there's a pretty good case to be made for the idea that those seedling groups might suck disproportionately because they have a particularly awful pollen parent, not because I've been negligent.
Just a theory. I'll probably never know. But it's honestly been depressing, how many of the BF/BH seedlings have been crappy, so I'm glad to have any way of explaining that, true or not.6
There's no point in talking further about Regina, since she's dead, but I took the pictures so I'm going to show them to you anyway. Overall plant:
Newer leaf (which I think is also the same leaf on which the raging scale problem was discovered):
I'll try to be more entertaining in the next post. I mean, I was trying
with this one, but then I threw the plant out and the whole thing had to be rewritten at the last minute, so it didn't really work.