Monday, August 14, 2017

Anthurium no. 1299 "Sinthia D Meanor"

Behold Sinthia D Meanor:


Not what you'd call "conventionally attractive," I suppose. I mean, a lot of people don't like aroid blooms in general, and of those who do, I'm guessing beige and misshapen aren't high on the desirable qualities list. But Sinthia is hands down the most interesting and unexpected seedling I've seen so far; there was no reason to think that beige was a possible spathe color,1 and the odd but (so far) consistent shape is also unique as far as I can recall.2

The color does change over time; mostly they get greener. Here's a photo of an old spathe (left) with a just-opened one (right):


The foliage is also a little oddly-shaped, though not as extreme,


and there's some thrips damage here and there. Less than average, but still there.


I've managed to pollinate the flowers, which is somewhat visible in the old/new comparison photo above but is really obvious now (sorry, I don't have any photos of it); although some of the pollinated blooms on other seedlings lately have died before the berries had matured, I'm hopeful that Sinthia will be able to produce equally-weird offspring someday; it might be nice to have a whole flock of beige, vaguely moth-like blooms.3

(24 May 2017)

(same bloom, 26 May 2017)

The real-life Sinthia D Meanor is from Dayton, Ohio; I had a difficult time finding a video with even passable sound quality, or any information that wasn't just "she's from Ohio." But there is at least a real performer who goes by this name.

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1 Though it's clear enough, in retrospect, how the color came to be: it's basically a very light pinkish-orange that also happens to have a tiny amount of chlorophyll in the spathe too. Both pieces have happened before, individually. There's no shortage of light pinkish-orange spathes (0097 Colin Ambulance, 0317 Dred, 0328 Polly Esther Blend, etc.). Green is less common, but it's happened too, either as a slight bronzing of an orange (0330 Faye Quinette), a darkening of a red (0005 Chad Michaels, 0842 Pretty Punasti), or all by itself on the edges of an otherwise white spathe (1268 Li'l Miss Hot Mess). So given enough time, it was inevitable that the two pigments would wind up together; I just hadn't considered the possibility until it happened.
2 Some other seedlings have produced unusual spathe shapes too, just not this particular shape. Squat, kidney-shaped spathes have been really popular lately; a few seedlings have produced long, narrow spathes. One (0290 RuPaul Charles) liked to make spathes that had weird notches on the margins, about halfway between the tip and the base, though it grew out of that.
3 This is actually pretty unlikely, given how weird Sinthia actually is. Even if she were normal, her seedlings are unlikely to resemble her that much -- as we've progressed through the second generation seedlings, I've been surprised at how little relationship there appears to be between parent and child sometimes. Somewhat dull seed parents produce offspring with unexpected colors (e.g. the pink/pink 0273 Wes Coast producing the orange/yellow or orange/orange 0788 Owen McCord, or the purple-turning-to-pink 'Joli' yielding the red-turning-to-orange 1171 Chris of Hur). Similarly, unusual seed parents with highly desirable traits often wind up producing dull pink/pinks and red/yellows (like the NOID pink-green, which so far has produced two red/yellows, 1372 Shelita Taylor and 1373 Donet McKim, a red/red, 1750 Dreuxilla Divine, and a pink/pink, 1752 Reyna Terra Esova).
I mean, some of the surprises are easy to account for since I don't know anything about the pollen parents, and I wouldn't actually want the offspring to all look just like the seed parents. But it does kind of suck to realize that the children of 1268 Li'l Miss Hot Mess or 1299 Sinthia D Meanor are most likely to be red/yellow or pink/pink, just like all the other plants' offspring.


3 comments:

Tom said...

When I look at the flower I see an arrangement in a hospitality or professional services setting where calm or muted tones are desired; I can definitely imagine florists who would find Sinthia's flowers useful material. She's definitely a keeper, and I'm a little jealous :). Good luck.

handofthesly said...

Fascinating colour! I haven't seen anything like that in retail here in New Zealand.
One thing that I din't notice before now was the variation we've seen in the spadix length/size. This one appears to be quite short and squat, whereas previous seedlings have been longer/thinner. Have you noticed any patterns regarding the spadix sizes between parents and offspring?

mr_subjunctive said...

Tom:

Don't be too jealous: I did spend about 6 years growing out about 1700 seedlings to get her.

But yeah, if the color and shape are consistent, and the first self-aborting bud really was a fluke, I might have something worthwhile in Sinthia. I mean, the shape alone is actually pretty cool. I'm planning to move Sinthia (as well as 0788 Owen McCord and the as-yet unblogged 1103 Valeria T., who you can see in the seedling gallery) up to 6-inch pots soonish, which will eventually tell me a little more about how she'd perform for other people.

If she doesn't rot first, which is always a little bit of a risk. :^(

handofthesly:

Short answer: it's kinda too early to tell, still.

Long answer: it's partly the photos; I usually try to photograph inflorescences such that 1) the spadix is in focus, and 2) the spathe is facing the camera as directly as possible. So depending on the angle between spathe and spadix, sometimes the spadix will be pointing at the camera and sometimes it will be perpendicular to the camera.

Different inflorescences on the same plant vary enough that it's hard to get a sense of what a "normal" bloom looks like for any particular seedling, and the first few blooms often have more extreme dimensions than later ones. So it's difficult to have a sense of a "typical" inflorescence for a seedling unless it's been around and blooming for quite a while, which makes the pool of comparable seedlings smaller than you'd expect.

There are a few seedlings which appear prone to producing unusually thick spadices, which I suspect of all being related to the NOID red, though the NOID red didn't, itself, have particularly thick spadices.

A lot of the seedlings in the BF and BH seedling groups (seed parents 'Gemini' and 'White Gemini,' respectively; I suspect the pollen parents in both cases were 'Krypton' or the NOID red-violet that looked a lot like 'Krypton') appear to have produced spadices that were a little bit longer than the spathe (a little shorter is "average"), so that might be a pattern. Though a lot of the BF/BH seedlings also sucked and didn't stick around to bloom very many times, so who knows what they would have eventually settled on as "typical."

Many of the high-number seedlings to bloom lately (1300, 1301, 1419, 1493, 1547, 1589, 1592) have had similarly squarish (height approximately equal to width) spathes with longer spadices, though any similarity between them probably has more to do with them being first blooms, blooming very young, and growing in 3-inch pots. 1419 is another weirdo, and will almost certainly get to move up to a 4-inch pot soon, so we'll find out if that's programmed in or not in her case; we may or may not ever find out about the others, though I do like 1300, 1301, and 1592 enough to think about promoting them. We'll see.