Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Schlumbergera seedling no. 094

Naming this one is easy and hard at the same time. Easy because I really like all four name finalists (Deer Devil,1 Harriet Tubman,2 Pele's Lipstick,3 and Some Clowns4), hard because I'm not sure the seedling is worthy of a good name.

Why unworthy? Well, there was some thrips scarring. I've chosen photos for the post that show less damage, but it was there. Also, some of the seedlings have produced petals which shade from white on the "tube," through orange and red, ending with magenta at the very tips,5 and 094A seems to be somewhat inclined that way --

-- but isn't committing to it as much as the others have. Since this was only its first year blooming, I don't know whether it's going to do this with more conviction in the future, or whether it's just experimenting this year. If it's going to get fully on board the magenta-tip train next year, it should get a really good name, and if it's not, I shouldn't worry about it getting a good name.

So, with that in mind, which name do I use?

I think Harriet Tubman is best reserved for a seedling that is unambiguously awesome.

I also feel that way about Pele's Lipstick, but at the same time, I feel pretty strongly that that name should go to a seedling with the white-orange-red-magenta coloration. 094A is the last seedling of that type for the year, so if I don't want to wait until next year to use it, this would be the seedling to use it on.

Deer Devil works just as well, or better, for a red seedling, though it's also a good name for a seedling I'm not sure will be a good one. So I suppose I have to hold on to it too.

Some Clowns is color-appropriate with or without the magenta, and it honors a person I'm fond of, so I don't want to drop it, either.

So I thought about those three options for a few days. Sometimes when I have multiple options available and I'm having trouble settling on one, thinking about how I'd feel if I flipped coins and X result came up can help eliminate a few choices. After running a few of those mental experiments, I decided that Deer Devil would be disappointing, and Pele's Lipstick would make me wonder whether I was wasting a good name on a seedling with the wrong coloration, so it winds up being 094A Some Clowns.


1 Previously considered for 106A Jaws of Elmo and 192A Oney Judge, and apparently destined to be one of those names that keeps coming back until I break down and use it.
2 Surely I don't have to explain how and why Harriet Tubman is awesome?
3 (suggested last year by reader Paul for seedling 217A Blood Frenzy)
4 Previously considered for seedling 165A Assertive, and one of the names that would honor a non-famous person who's been personally important to me, for good or ill.
5 Most notably 083A Psychedelic Bunny, but also 067A Cyndi Lauper, 074A Vroom, 079A Yayoi Kusama, 082A Strawberry Madeline, 106A Jaws of Elmo, 107 Nova Prospekt, 176A The Quality Of Mercy, 192A Oney Judge, and 217A Blood Frenzy, to varying degrees.


Paul said...

Well you can always "up grade" to one of the more "choice" names in the future should it prove worthy. (For that matter, should you have a plant with which you feel you wasted a great name because of subsequent poor production/performance, you can always down grade it to a less awesome name.)

mr_subjunctive said...


True, though it's a bigger hassle than you would think to change names, because of the way I keep records on the seedlings. Multiple spreadsheets, plus the blog gallery and posts, plus printed tags (if it's a seedling I liked well enough to propagate). I mean, it's not impossible to do or anything, but it could easily take a couple hours to change one name. (I know because it's happened before with Anthuriums a couple times.) So there's a strong incentive to stick with whatever name I picked, even if I don't like it later on.

Besides which, it's not like there won't be more seedlings next year. No good name is going to go unused indefinitely.