Friday, April 15, 2016

Pretty picture: Psychopsis Kalihi alba 'Green Valley'

Not that I hate Psychopsis or anything, but I often feel like I should appreciate them more than I do. I like unusual, and they're unusual. I like striking patterning; they've got striking patterning. They often strike me as not quite finished, though. Is it just me?

Haven't seen this particular flower before, but we saw the non-alba form of Psychopsis Kalihi last year, as well as Psychopsis Mariposa 'Twins', which is Kalihi x Psychopsis papilio. 2012 had another mostly-yellow Psychopsis, Mendenhall alba 'Yellow Butterfly.'

Psychopsis Kalihi = Psychopsis krameriana x Psychopsis papilio (Ref.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Schlumbergera seedling no. 063

(Potting up the Anthurium seedlings, which I mentioned in the previous post, wound up taking me just under ten hours to do. If you were curious.1)

The only unusual feature of Schlumbergera seedling 063A is that its petals are a lot more rounded than average. Not super-exciting, but it might be enough to make naming easier. Let's see.

The five-category naming scheme seems to be working well enough for us so far, so let's try that again.

Shape-related: Broad Brush, because of the sort of squared-off ends of the petals. It's a bit of a stretch, I suppose, but my blog, my rules.

Color-related: Robin after the American robin (Turdus migratorius).

Previously considered: Ad Abundantiam, previously (and recently!) considered for seedling 072A Chell.

Pop cultural: Tigger, after the character from the Winnie the Pooh books.2

Whatever: though I am tempted to go with a reference to a famous person I saw on another site semi-recently (Short-Fingered Vulgar Business Yam), I'm hoping that that reference will become so horribly dated by 2018 that no one will even remember who it refers to. So how about the similar but much more pleasant Sweet Potato Pie instead?

For some reason I am afraid that Tigger would get me a cease and desist order from Disney (Disney has owned the rights to Winnie the Pooh since 1961 and are notorious for being aggressively litigious), but even if that's irrational and paranoid of me, Tigger is the Winnie the Pooh character I always related to the least. Much more of an Eeyore here. Which you probably knew already.3 So ennh.

Robin can go too; I like robins fine (and still wonder from time to time how Marcia, Jan, and Cindy are doing, or whether they're even still alive4), but an actual robin this color would be alarming; they're a duller, slightly redder orange.

Similarly, Sweet Potato Pie would be more appropriate for a bloom that was a lighter, yellower orange than this, at least going by online photos.5

So that leaves Broad Brush and Ad Abundantiam. The former actually does something to describe the seedling in question, whereas the latter could be used for any orange seedling. And we know there's very little chance of making it to June without naming one of them Ad Abundantiam, so I guess we're going with Broad Brush. Not really where I thought this post was going to wind up, but there you go.


1 An hour to fill 126 pots with soil and wet the soil down, an hour and a half to do the actual transplanting, an hour to type, print, and cut the text out of the paper for the tags, about two and a half hours to actually make the tags with my poor-man's-laminator, four hours to update the spreadsheets and other records.
2 and films, and TV shows, and lunch boxes, and stuffed animals, and pencil-toppers, and Halloween costumes, and video games, and figurines, and dresses, and ceramic wall plaques, and candy, and blankets, and vinyl wall decals, and pacifiers, and Beanie Babies, and bibs, and iPhone chargers, and tote bags, and laundry hampers, and shoes, and cupcake toppers, and stamps, and Q-Tip dispensers, and necklaces, and comb/brush sets, and
3 (thanks for noticing)
4 Wikipedia says probably not; average lifespan of a robin is 2 years, and the Brady sisters were hatched 5 years ago. I mean, it's not hopeless -- they're known to occasionally live to be 14, even in the wild -- but odds are pretty good that all three are gone now. *sigh*
5 It is distinctly possible that I have never encountered a live sweet potato pie in the wild. We were more of a cake / cookies family than a pie family.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Schlumbergera seedling no. 057 (again)

Well. We all knew this day would come. Eventually, the Anthuriums were going to get distracted for a moment, and then the Schlumbergeras would be back. So brace yourselves, 'cause it's mostly Schlumbergera seedlings from now until mid-May.

Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to come up with a suitable name for this particular seedling:

TinEye has become too repetitive to be useful, but I like the randomness of it. Random-word generators do exist on-line, but I've found them mostly disappointing for name-generation, because so many of the words they come up with are so uncommon or technical that they sort of defeat the purpose of having a memorable, clear moniker for a seedling. I mean, what can you really do with something like Perish Verbarrectus? Nothing, that's what. What I need is a list of random words that's been filtered for me a little bit, to remove jargony words ("enstatolite," "theriolatry," "cholecystonephrostomy"), words with clear meanings but clunky ways of expressing them ("uncomprehendingness," "coadministratrix"), words that are perfectly fine but not great things to name seedlings ("penis," "Nazi," "rotten"), etc.

So I made one. Or, well, I'm in the process of making one. Copied a list of about 240,000 words from the internet, and started sifting through it about three weeks ago, giving thumbs-up or -down on each word individually, which will eventually give me a filtered list useful for naming things. I hope. As of 10 April, I'm only barely more than halfway through it (114,800ish words left to decide on), because that's a hell of a lot of words. I can only do about 2500 or so at a time before my brain blows a tire and I have to do something else for a few hours.

The ultimate goal is to re-sort the list at random and let the novel combinations of words suggest name ideas. Not all of the combinations are useful that way ("thinker harp"), but if I'm in the right mood, the combinations can give interesting mental images, at least, which aren't that far off from the sorts of things I'd get from TinEye. We'll see how it goes once it's all fully operational.

And yes, I am aware of how crazy this sounds. Make comments about how much time I clearly must have on my hands if you must.

Besides the words list, I have previously-rejected names, names I thought of with my own brain like a normal person would name things, and the emergency names list to work with. So. Let's do what we did last time, and limit the options to one name from five different categories.

Shape-related: Voladora (Spanish for flying.1)

Color-related: Exothermic, the word for chemical reactions that release heat, previously considered for 056 Demons Begone and 089 Halloween Moon.

Previously-considered: Oxomoco, the Aztec deity in charge of night, astrology, the calendar, and agriculture; previously considered for 112 "Lavaball."

Whatever: Aqua Regia, the fuming mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids strong enough to dissolve gold and platinum, which is usually some shade of orange or another.

Pop cultural: That's My Purse. I'd link a video if I could find a decent one, but alas. It comes from King of the Hill, episode 1 of season 6 -- Bobby gets beaten up by some bullies, is encouraged by his father Hank to attend a boxing course at the local YMCA, but the boxing class is full so he attends a women's self-defense course instead, where students are instructed to kick attackers in the groin while yelling "That's My Purse! I don't know you!" Which turns out to be pretty effective against bullies. Pamela Adlon, who voiced Bobby Hill, wound up winning a Primetime Emmy (Outstanding Voice-Over Performance) for this episode.

So. As amusing as That's My Purse is, it's maybe too dependent on knowing the episode it comes from. Not sure it's forever unusable, but I'm thinking I should at least not use it for this particular seedling. And Exothermic always seems good when I'm making the short lists of names, but then it's always one of the least interesting options, so maybe I should stop trying to make Exothermic happen.

The color is maybe a little too red for Aqua Regia -- I don't think I've ever encountered it in person, but most of the on-line photos available show it as more of a yellow-orange than red-orange.

So it's down to Voladora or Oxomoco, and I wish I had more photos to look at. This seedling has only bloomed once, though, so the two pictures in this post are all I have to go on. Based on those, it feels less like "flying" and more like "Aztec agricultural deity," so I think I'm going to go with Oxomoco.

This whole post feels a little rushed, for which I apologize, but as I write this, it's 12:27 PM on Sunday and I still intend to pot up another 126 Anthurium seedlings today (fill pots, transplant seedlings, make tags, update spreadsheets, etc.). That will take at least six hours to do, probably more like nine, so I've probably already dedicated more time to this naming decision than I had to spare.


1 Also hanging in the air, blowing up with gunpowder, a rocket, or a flying fish, according to the link. They all kind of work.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Pretty picture: Paphiopedilum Winwine x fairrieanum

Paphiopedilum Winston Churchill (seed parent for Paph. Winwine) must be a magical paph to breed with, because it seems like he's everywhere.

Paph. Cheryl Ann Boyd
Paph. (Adam Hausermann x Winston Churchill)
Paph. Keyeshill

And that's just so far. There'll be a fifth Winston Churchill cross in the 25 December post. Not sure if there are others. Probably. Lots of Paphiopedilums this year.

Not really seeing the influence here, but then this plant is only 1/4 Winston Churchill, so I suppose I wouldn't necessarily. I'm more surprised that it doesn't especially resemble the pollen parent, Paph. fairrieanum, which is fairly light-colored, with purple and/or green veining. There were a lot of fairrieanum hybrids in the show this year, it seemed like (you'll see two more this year), and none of them particularly resembled it, nor have the fairrieanum hybrids from past shows:

Paph. Jade Dragon (though note that the ID is uncertain)
Paph. Faire-Maud
Paph. Golden Crest

I mean, yeah, recessive, dominant, Punnett squares, I get it. It's just that usually there's enough of a resemblance to be able to say oh, yeah, that kind of makes sense, I guess, and with this particular plant there's not.

Wherever it comes from, it's lovely, and I approve of it.

Paphiopedilum Winwine: Paphiopedilum Winston Churchill x Paphiopedilum Joanne's Wine (Ref.)