There have long been a group of seedlings that are pretty clearly pink in photographs, but somehow seem to be a little pinker than pink in person. It's hard to describe. I thought for a while that maybe they were slightly fluorescent, but that's been difficult to verify (no black lights handy at home, though we do have some purple LEDs that make certain objects in the kitchen fluoresce faintly). I'm still not sure. In any case. 0273 Wes Coast was one of those; 0721 Chandelier Divine Brown is red instead of pink, but also seemed that way for the first few blooms; 0758 Miles Long, Esquire is consistently that way so far. And now 1301 Symphony Alexander-Love is joining the club, at least sort of. No obvious genetic connection between them all, so it's a mystery for now.
Above is the first bloom Symphony produced, and although I was initially kinda meh, whatever, purplish-red, big deal, the odd inexplicable glow won me over eventually. The color actually got a bit more intense as the spadix aged. Five days after the above photo, the bloom looked like this:
So far, so cool, right? And then a second bud opened, and it looked really really ordinary:
Which was disappointing, but it turned more purple and more saturated as it aged, too. So it's been very up and down, emotionally, but it's interesting to have a seedling where the blooms' beauty peaks a while after they open. Usually the blooms are prettiest right after the spathe is fully unfurled, and they start declining immediately.
The foliage is also more interesting than it needs to be; the leaves are longer and narrower than average.
And the leaves aren't completely free of thrips damage, but they do a lot better job of dealing with it than 1300 Gia Sunflowers did.
She's even been doing some modest suckering already, as you can see. So when it was time to move up some of the three-inch seedlings, Symphony was one of the more obvious candidates. It'll be a while before I post about any of the others that got promoted,1 alas.
Symphony Alexander-Love is a Miss Gay Wisconsin USofA at Large, most recently, but has also won titles in Ohio and South Carolina (the full list is kind of exhausting, honestly). Her baton-twirling (in the talent portion of the Miss Gay Wisconsin 2013 pageant) is pretty cool, if you're the sort of person who enjoys watching drag queens twirl batons. But this video is really impressive:
Possibly I meant "exhausting." Maybe both. Anyway. So that's Symphony Alexander-Love.
A side note -- I'm starting to see buds on several of the Schlumbergeras. So far, they've been developing for a few weeks and then dropping off; no actual blooms yet. But they're getting close, and this is way too early to start. The last Schlumbergera season didn't even end until late June; I don't want to start the next one in August. . . .
I also promoted two others even though they hadn't bloomed yet: 1357 Dayonna Hilton, because she's one of the few seedlings with 'Midori' as a parent, and 1747 Anaol Fetale, because 1) she'd budded once but then dropped the bud, 2) her leaves were ginormous and I was a little worried about her shading the other seedlings to death, and 3) she was pretty severely rootbound and really needed the larger pot.