Sunday, July 9, 2017

Anthurium no. 0728 "Sister Dimension"

It's not particularly on-topic, but I'd like to say that I hate Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica). So much. Two days in a row now, I've been out picking them off the Cannas1 and gotten about 200-250 individual beetles both days. I'm pretty sure that's the worst it's ever been, and I don't know if the reason is because it's an especially bad Japanese beetle year or if we're just growing that many more plants, but surely it's one or both of those.2

Does milky spore live up to the hype? 'Cause I'm interested.

As for our actual subject today, I'm pretty happy with seedling 0728.

There have been other seedlings with similar coloration, most notably 0097 Colin Ambulance, 0694 Brad Romance, 0791 Joslyn Fox, 0805 Triana Hill, and 1181 Tajma Stetson. Sister Dimension doesn't do everything better than all of them, but she blooms more frequently than Triana, has bigger spathes than Tajma, seems less prone to thrips damage than Colin, holds her color better than Brad, and doesn't flip her spathe back like Joslyn, so she's at least playing in the same league as the others, if not decisively superior to them all.

Left column, top to bottom: 0097 Colin Ambulance, 0728 Sister Dimension, 0805 Triana Hill.
Right: 0694 Brad Romance, 0791 Joslyn Fox, 1181 Tajma Stetson.

The plant as a whole could be better:

the leaves are nicely-shaped and glossy, but there's more thrips damage than I would like.

Nevertheless, Sister Dimension is a keeper.

It's easy to find websites that mention the drag queen Sister Dimension, but very difficult to find anything that explains who she is, what sort of thing she did, or whether she's still performing. Which is irritating. Best I could come up with on short notice is that she was a queen in the East Village drag scene in the 1990s, in the same circles as RuPaul and Lady Bunny. Not sure which one she is, but she's apparently in the (in-?)famous "Pickle Surprise" video (as are Ru and Lady Bunny):

Which is itself probably sufficient to give an idea of the sorts of things going on in the East Village in the 1990s.

You're welcome.


1 They don't, so far, seem interested in the houseplants I've got outside for the summer (mostly Euphorbia tirucalli, Ficus benjamina, and Coffea arabica. I pretty much never have to worry about the Euphorbias, which is why I love E. tirucalli so much even though it occasionally tries to blind me.).
2 We also got the plants out later than usual this year, and the squirrels have gone after them worse than usual too. Dunno if either of those makes a difference?


Paul said...

Going to try crossings amongst the light pinks?

Squirrel-wise if the "pup" doesn't feel like chasing them, cayenne pepper sprinkled around the plants and a tincture sprayed on them might help.

JBs are not a big issue for me, fortunately. Wonder if Neem oil would deter them? If not, you could also make a strong tobacco tea mixed with dawn dish soap and spray the beetles with it. If the soap doesn't smother them, the nicotine should kill them.

mr_subjunctive said...


I do still have a bunch of neem oil left (I don't know whether it's any good still; it's very very old), and I suppose it couldn't hurt to try. The people who sell neem seem to think it'll kill Japanese beetles, at least.

Of course, then I wind up smelling like extremely old neem oil for days after. Hmmm.

mr_subjunctive said...


Oh, and: still doing random crossing of everything with everything so far; I keep thinking that I should try for a deliberate cross, but I'd have to clean off the paintbrush and wait for the right moment, and I'm apparently not patient enough for that.

(Also seedlings that don't form pollen seem to be outnumbered roughly 2:1, so some combinations can just never happen. Which is sad. But yes, some of the "Sister Dimension"-like seedlings should get crossed together someday, if only because plants that bloom this color often have a purple ancestor, and it'd be nice to get some third-generation purples.)

Sheba tries to chase the squirrels. (Once, she's caught one, which was upsetting for everyone involved.) The trouble is that there are Cannas planted on either side of a tree, and Sheba doesn't pay any attention to the plants when there's a squirrel, so it's likely that the squirrels wouldn't be deterred and Sheba would knock over some Cannas besides.