Sunday, June 25, 2017

Schlumbergera seedling no. 290

Seedling 290 was one of the really good white Schlumbergera seedlings: the flowers were large,1 and it bloomed several times during the season. Some of this is probably because it was lucky enough to get a good spot near the window, not because it's intrinsically awesome, but lucky and good look the same at this particular moment.

The naming process has been agonizing, as a result. I had eleven contenders initially, ten of which had been considered for other seedlings, all of which could have been a perfectly good but not amazing name, and reduced that to the four names I present to you now: Giselle, Lyle Lovett, Mae West, and Our Lady Of Assumption.

Giselle is the new one. It was suggested anonymously in the comments for 128A Sloths Arrive Late, as a reference to the ballet of the same name.

Lyle Lovett was rejected for 128A Sloths Arrive Late.

Mae West was under consideration for 067A Cyndi Lauper, but was rejected on the grounds that the real-life Mae West apparently had a thing for wearing white in public, and decorating her home in white and gold, whereas 067A was very colorful.

Our Lady of Assumption2 was considered for 165A Assertive, but I rejected it on the grounds that it was a bad fit with a magenta flower, and I said I'd bring it back for this one, so here we are.3

Just as a point of interest, the smallest 50% or so of the petals have a stripe of yellow-green down the center. I didn't notice it until 290A bloomed, but when I went back and looked at the other white seedlings, I discovered that all the white ones do this to some degree or another. I couldn't tell whether the non-white seedlings do it too, since I don't generally take photos of the flowers' butts4 so there aren't a lot of examples to work from, but judging from the few cases where I did, it looks like non-white seedlings either don't have any green, or they do but you can't see it because the other pigments are intense enough to make it impossible to see.

Since all four name options would work, and I actually like all four of them, it's basically impossible to narrow down the list. So I tried to conduct an experiment: I imagined forcing myself to accept all four outcomes, and then tried to determine how disappointed I would feel in each case. Which is pretty difficult to do, it turns out, but I determined that I would be most disappointed by Mae West, and least disappointed by Our Lady Of Assumption, so I guess this one is 290A Our Lady Of Assumption. Which feels pretty weird, but it was kind of a weird situation to begin with. Better luck next time, Mae, Giselle, and Lyle.

Also, as a side note -- I have decided that I actually hate Europa as a name for seedling 190A, so I changed its name to the runner-up, Snezhana, even though changing all the blog posts and spreadsheets is going to be a pain. It's so much of a pain that I've never done it before, but I hate Europa that much.


1 Though there's a lot less variability in Schlumbergera flower size than there is in Anthurium spathe size. No doubt it's still possible to breed Schlumbergera for larger blooms, but I feel like it would be frustrating, and progress would be slow.
2 (Which is one of the names intended to honor a specific person from my life, and is in fact unusually perfect for the person in question. It should really be Our Lady Of The Assumption, but I'm trying to keep the names under 25 characters if at all possible.)
3 For the sake of completeness, the seven rejected names were: 14th Anniversary, Glass Slipper, I Made It All Up, Ice Castle, Magician's Dove, Pegasus, and Snezhana.
4 Fine. What would you call them, then?


Paul said...

Lovely flower.

So what's your issue with Europa?

mr_subjunctive said...


Mostly that the white supremacists are ruining it. (Spelling it with a "v" doesn't make it meaningfully different as far as I'm concerned.)

I realize it's not realistic to rename things every time some group ruins a word, but c'mon, white supremacists.

Paul said...

Really? I had not heard about them "adopting" it.