Saturday, September 17, 2016

Question for the Hive Mind: Unknown Weed

This plant had leaves similar to those of the strawberries it was growing among; I didn't realize it was something else until it had gotten noticeably taller than the strawberries, and started blooming. I suppose I don't actually have to know what it is, but I'm curious, and a bit of poking around online didn't help. Anyone know?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Pretty picture: Paphiopedilum Marsha White

The tag said "Martha White,"

which isn't in the IOR database; I was able to find a Marsha White, which looks a lot like this, so presumably there's been a typo somewhere along the way. These things will happen. It is sometimes frustrating to be the only person who cares, though.

The flower's nice, at least.

Paphiopedilum Marsha White = Paphiopedilum Diana Broughton x Paphiopedilum Langley Pride (Ref.)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Unfinished business: Lenophyllum texanum

The reader may or may not recall that back in August 2014, I put up this post, in which I said that it had been twenty months since I was officially been growing Lenophyllum texanum in the house, that I'd thrown out the potted plants I had and marked it as officially deceased on the spreadsheets and everything, but I still technically had some.

L. texanum is terrible about dropping leaves any time it gets moved or bumped, and each leaf is capable of growing a whole new plant, which was the reason why I got rid of it in the first place -- I was sick of having to constantly pick leaves and plants out of pots. But, when I threw away the original pots, of course some of the leaves fell off, and some of those leaves landed in the tray the plants had been sitting in, and they were too big to get washed down the drainage holes, so twenty months later, I had whole L. texanum plants growing in the bottoms of the flats. Here's the picture from August 2014:

So the months went by, and plants came and went above them, but the Lenophyllum texanum plants formed a little mat and collected a little water every time I watered the official plants in their flat, and after a certain point I was like, okay, so let's see how long you can survive this way. This post is because I have concluded that Lenophyllum texanum can, in fact, survive indefinitely with no soil or pot and very little light, water or fertilizer. This is the same bunch of plants in June 2016, three and a half years after I was officially no longer growing this species:

A close up of the group on the left side of the previous photo.

Not looking quite as healthy, sure (I think that I'd pulled them up at some point to look at the roots, which is at least part of why they're floppy: I couldn't put the mat of plants back in exactly the same spot.), but obviously still alive and everything. So I was like, okay, guys, I'll let you have a pot and some soil, good job, you win. I didn't even try to plant them. I just got a pot, filled it with some moist potting mix, and set the little mats on top of the soil. And the change was almost instantaneous. The above photos were taken on the day that I put them into pots, 16 June 2016. Here are the exact same plants on 18 August 2016, a mere 63 days later:

I assume the color change was due to stress (a lot of succulents turn redder when stressed, though the usual reasons -- cold, excessive sun/UV -- wouldn't apply here), as they were always gray-green when they had soil before, and turned back to gray-green as soon as they had soil again.

So, I mean, I still don't especially like L. texanum as a houseplant: it's messy, and invasive, and not even particularly pretty at its most beautiful. But I feel obligated, after what I've put them through. All that, and they're fine.

Obviously they will never not be fine.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Anthurium no. 0538 "Ada Buffet" / Unfinished Business

And we're back to the crappy seedlings again. Ada's a little quirky, in that she seems to have trouble keeping her spadix inside the spathe, even as a bud,

but that's one of those things that seedlings tend to grow out of eventually.

If they're allowed enough time, that is. Which Ada probably will not be, because the finished bloom doesn't have anything going for it. Small, scarred, uninteresting color.

The leaves are better. In fact, they're occasionally even nice.

But only occasionally.

Ada might get a chance to try again, so I can be sure there's nothing special going on here, but I'm already pretty convinced. Best-case scenario, we've got a serviceable pink-red / yellow from the BH seedling group, and at this point, those are worth basically nothing to me.

I should mention, though, that I've seen something interesting happen on an older BH seedling. 0527 Ms. Lucia Love, the seedling that changes spadix color from (spathe-contrasting) white to (spathe-matching) red, has really gone on a tear making blooms, and in the process has revealed that there's another color-change, after the red. She goes from white to red to green, as the spadix ages. Here's a bad photo showing all the spadix colors at once:

This may not be particularly desirable, but it's interesting, because the spadix starts out with no red, flushes completely red, and then goes back to no red again. Normally if a spadix starts turning a little green, the previous pigment remains, and it winds up going kind of brown overall (if the base color was red or pink), or gray (if the base was purple). Lucia was already sort of an oddball for being the first (only?) seedling to start out with a contrasting spadix which becomes a matching spadix, so this is doubly odd. I'm glad I kept her.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Anthurium no. 0694 "Brad Romance"

Finally, another good Anthurium seedling. The blooms are similar to, but smaller than, those of 0805 Triana Hill. Just as with Triana, the spathe was a better color when it first opened

12 June 2016.

than it was after it had been around a while,

7 July 2016.

but that just seems to be how the peach-leaning spathes work: 0097 Colin Ambulance, 0328 Polly Esther Blend, 0596 Alisa Summers, and 0805 Triana Hill all get more pink and less orange with age, to varying degrees and at varying speeds.

Brad's foliage is less abundant than Triana's, with a lot less suckering,

but so far, at least, the few leaves present are unscarred, and have an interesting texture besides (maybe the texture is why there's not as much scarring?).

Brad's definitely a keeper, in any case. Even if the spathes never get any larger, the bloom color is interesting enough that I look forward to seeing what it can do, genetically. A couple of the other peach-bloomers have produced viable seedlings now,1 but the more sets of genes in the mix, the better, I figure.


1 Both 0097 Colin Ambulance and 0328 Polly Esther Blend have produced some seedlings. Neither group has been potted up and made into official seedlings with names and ID numbers yet, but it's only a matter of time: Colin's are from June and July 2016, and Polly's are from March, May, and June 2016. Some of Polly's really should have been moved into their own pots a long time ago, but I just don't have anywhere to put them.
0596 Alisa Summers has been pollinated, and is working on berries, but they're developing veeeeeeerrrrrry slowly.
I've been trying, but there's no evidence of pollination on 0694 Brad Romance or 0805 Triana Hill yet.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Anthurium no. 0500 "Frau Martha Wäber"

Yet another pretty crappy seedling.

The bloom may not be terrible, but it is very small, plus you can see the thrips have been at it. The second bloom was a little cleaner, but still tiny.

An even bigger -- literally and figuratively -- problem is that the leaves are a wreck.

I don't think Martha ever had a serious scale problem, but it's possible that they couldn't find a place to sit, what with all the thrips.

So. Martha is still around at the moment, but probably not for much longer. Even if there were no pest issues to worry about, there's no reason to think she'd ever be a valuable seedling, what with the tiny blooms in run-of-the-mill colors. It's a wonder she hasn't been thrown out already.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Anthurium no. 0835 "Brenda Dharling"

I would have sworn that I'd already covered Brenda on here, but there's no link to a post in the Anthurium seedling gallery, and I couldn't find a post about her in the archives,1 so I guess it didn't happen.

Brenda has since died, so it's all moot, I guess, but for the sake of completeness:

The bloom never even opened up all the way. And she only had one shot at it, because shortly after this, I threw her out because she had scale.

Not especially broken up about it. Looks like she was headed towards being a pink/pink anyway. The foliage was maybe not awful, and she gets points for budding early (only 15 months after her sow date!), but it'd take a pretty special plant to be worth a scale infestation.



1 Though I did mention her when I found her first bud, in March 2016, and when that bud aborted, in May 2016. As the picture of the "bloom" in this post dates from April, I bet what happened was that I was waiting for the spathe to open up more fully before scheduling a post, and then it never did, and then I went on semi-hiatus around the time her post would have appeared, and with everything that was happening it was easy to forget about writing a post for a plant I no longer had.