Saturday, June 3, 2017

Schlumbergera seedling no. 011

011A is a keeper, though I suppose technically it's redundant, since there are other seedlings that produce very similar color combinations (most notably and consistently 021B Birthday Dinner, 055B Fort Venus, and 088A Cyborg Unicorn). It's probably good to keep some semi-duplicates around anyway, though, as the seedlings can die (the original 083A Psychedelic Bunny appears to have died at some point over the winter or spring, due to unknown causes -- I had the foresight to take cuttings, but that was still awfully disappointing). It might also turn out to be the case that seedlings I think are similar actually aren't: maybe one of them has a superior growth habit or is more resistant to bugs or whatever.

And even if I couldn't justify keeping duplicate seedlings around, this is a color combination I really like.

Thus far, 011A's main weakness seems to be thrips; it also wasn't a particularly heavy bloomer.

The name finalists: Annie Lennox, Bring It, Full Battery, Pure Energy.

I don't think I actually need to explain any of these, as the last three are pretty self-evident,1 and Annie Lennox was considered for 066B Sigrid The Haughty and 079B Haleakala.

I'm pretty happy to let Bring It drop: it was the last one I added to the list, and I wasn't that happy with it. And Full Battery doesn't quite work either: the colors are energetic, which is what I was going for, but an image search confirms that "full battery" is almost always indicated by the color green, so it wouldn't make intuitive sense to a lot of people.

Which leaves us with Annie Lennox vs. Pure Energy. Lennox has certainly done this color combination before, notably in the video for "Why", and an image search also turned up this photo.2 Lately she's been favoring black, or occasionally white, which maybe makes the color combination a little less obvious but whatever, we don't have to let that bother us if we don't want to.

Pure Energy is a little more abstract. Image search confirms that there are a lot of products with that name already, and also that when people put images to the idea of "pure energy," the dominant colors are blue and purple, so it's also not a great intuitive match.

Though it's not like I'm ever going to get a blue or purple Schlumbergera, so we should probably not let that bother us either.

So. Considering that Annie Lennox has been under consideration before, while Pure Energy has not, and that it's marginally more color-appropriate for this seedling, I guess I'm going to go with 011A Annie Lennox.

We may or may not see Pure Energy come back again; it more or less works for the person I intend it to honor, but I can think of at least two alternate names that don't overlap with energy supplements, motor oils, etc.


1 (though Pure Energy is another of those personally-significant-people names, if you're keeping track of those)
2 Hello, 1980s makeup!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Schlumbergera seedling no. 128

Another seedling that produced only one flower. Also another white-blooming seedling. So this'll probably be quick.

The name finalists are: Hesitant Disclosure, Iceflow, Lyle Lovett, and Sloths Arrive Late.

Not sure where Hesitant Disclosure came from; possibly a random word combination. It fits, though: as you can see from the photo, the flower either never completely opened, or opened at a point too late for photo-taking.1

Iceflow is another name suggested some time ago by Paul.

Lyle Lovett is the Grammy-winning country singer and songwriter. I kind of love his work,2 and every time I've ever seen him in interviews or tapes of live performances or whatever, he always comes across as grounded and humble, and goes out of his way, every single time, to acknowledge the people he performs with. He's been on my celebrities-I'd-like-to-hang-out-with-sometime list for a good 20 years or so now, and I live in constant dread of finding out that he's secretly horrible, because that would wreck me.3

Sloths Arrive Late is probably from a random word combination. It's also true. Like, if you invite any sloths to your party, tell them the party's beginning at least four hours before you want them to show up.

So. Of the four, Hesitant Disclosure is the most abstract and least appealing, so it's easy to drop. The remaining three, though, are a difficult decision. Iceflow and Lyle Lovett are color-appropriate;4 Lyle Lovett and Sloths Arrive Late are both emotionally appealing (the latter is at least sort of funny); Iceflow and Sloths Arrive Late are both safer than naming a seedling for an actual person.

There's a good chance I'm not going to wind up keeping the seedling anyway, since there are better white-bloomers around,5 so possibly it doesn't even matter in the long run. So maybe I should go with the joke and call this one 128A Sloths Arrive Late, leaving the more serious options open for later seedlings.


1 I can, of course, take pictures whenever I like, so there's no point when it's too late, exactly. There are periods when it's not worth it to bother, because photos taken when it's very dark outside are often no good for posting.
2 I've mentioned before that "North Dakota" is one of my top ten favorite songs of all time:

And the album on which it appears, Joshua Judges Ruth, would be great for the song titles alone, but then the songs are also pretty great. See "Church," "Since the Last Time," "Baltimore," "Family Reserve," "She's Leaving Me Because She Really Wants To," "Flyswatter/Ice Water Blues (Monte Trenckmann's Blues)."
Honestly, I could spend all day recommending Lyle Lovett songs; I ran into him at the perfect moment in my life to hear what he was saying, so a huge number of his songs are really important to me.
3 Not an exaggeration.
4 (White makes sense for Lyle Lovett because a disproportionate number of his official music videos are in black and white. Sloths tend to be more brown or gray; sometimes they even end up kind of green, because algae can grow on them.)
5 Mostly thinking of 193A Arcade Gannon, 283A Migaloo, and the still-unnamed 290A, but 119A There Would Be Peace, 127A Cooperating Banjos, and the unnamed 135A are decent as well.
This seedling, 133A (no name), and 190A Snezhana are all pretty much duds, though, unless they decide to be amazing next year.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Anthurium no. 1181 "Tajma Stetson"

Tajma's1 most notable trait is that she blooms a lot. The blooms aren't particularly large, but they're pretty long-lived, and I'm fond of the seedlings with spathes that start out light orange and age to pink (among them 0097 Colin Ambulance, 0596 Alisa Summers, and 0813 Arya Reddy), so she has potential.

(newer bloom)

(older bloom). The color difference isn't huge, but it's there.

The weak spot is the foliage. It's not always bad,

but the thrips seem to find the leaves more delicious than I would like.

A minor point of interest is that, like 0097 Colin Ambulance, Tajma has the NOID purple for a seed parent. I'm not sure why Colin and Tajma turned out so not-at-all-purple,2 or whether they could produce purple-blooming seedlings, but it might be worth trying to find out.

Unfortunately, it's going to be a long wait: so far only 0097 Colin Ambulance has reproduced,3 and his seedlings are both still very young (1756 Adelaide Evening and 1757 Alex Blaine Layder, sow date 10 June 2016) and I only potted them up in late April 2017. So if they survive, those two might be purple, but we won't know until February 2018 at the earliest, and that's too much of a long shot to pin any hopes on.

Verdict: probable keeper, though not necessarily worthy of promotion to a larger pot.


1 No idea about the name; Tajma Stetson is a real performer, not a name I invented, but I don't know anything about her.
2 Too lazy to look it up, but if I remember correctly, the pigment responsible for making some Anthurium blooms purple is either pink or purple depending on cell pH. So it's possible that the pigment is being produced, just not in a way that makes it show up as purple.
3 I'm actually surprised at how few of the F1 seedlings have surviving offspring right now. I mean, there are still a lot of F2 seedlings, but of the 853 I started, only 368 (43%) are still around. And a lot of the survivors are only survivors because they're too young to have fallen apart yet. This was more or less the case with the F1 generation as well, of course: most Anthurium seedlings don't survive long enough to bloom.
At the moment, the big genetic winners from the F1 generation are 0223 Patty Cake (24 surviving offspring), 0234 Ross Koz (40), 0259 Tasha Salad (20), and 0330 Faye Quinette (54), but many of those survivors were recently potted up and probably won't live long enough to bloom.
If you look at how many F2 seedlings have actually bloomed, producing nice flowers that might be worth taking to an F3 generation, the winners are:

0005 Chad Michaels (top left), seed parent of 0694 Brad Romance (top right), 0698 Landon Cider (center left), 0721 Chandelier Divine Brown (center right), 0723 Tara Dactyl (bottom left), and 0842 Pretty Punasti (bottom right);

0200 Mario Speedwagon (top), seed parent of 0802 Dana International (bottom);

0234 Ross Koz (top), seed parent of 0805 Triana Hill (center) and 0811 Alma Children (bottom);

0273 Wes Coast, seed parent of 0728 Sister Dimension (center) and 0788 Owen McCord (bottom)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Schlumbergera seedling no. 239

Seedling 239A is primarily notable for being the third and final of the second-generation seedlings to bloom this year: all three were the offspring of 025A Clownfish.1 240A Schwa wasn't impressive, but 244A That's My Purse was nice. This one's in between the two: an uninteresting color combination, performed pretty well.

For name finalists we have: Plow The Seashore, Rediscovery, and Soft Light.

Plow The Seashore and Rediscovery have both come up previously as vaguely poetic names that say oh, this again.2

Soft Light was previously considered and rejected for seedling 034A Wahine.3

So, of the three names, Rediscovery is the most abstract, and consequently the least interesting to me. And Soft Light may not be a good seedling name, considering that later blooms are not always the same color as earlier ones. Which leaves only 239A Plow The Seashore.

I think I can be happy with this. (Fingers crossed that seedling 237 will bloom at some point and I can use Neptunium then.)


1 As I write, there is a small possibility that one more second-generation plant is going to bloom in the basement: seedling 352A has a very tiny bud on it. 352A would also be the first descendant of 082A Strawberry Madeleine to bloom.
I don't expect this to happen this year, though: a lot of buds drop off, especially in the basement, and although plants have produced flowers in the basement under artificial light before, it's rare. (Maybe only twice? 025A Clownfish and 200A Breakin' The Law are the only ones I can recall.) I mean, if the bud opens, I'll tell you about it, but it's enough of a long shot that I'm not getting excited just yet.
2 The original Latin version is arare litus, and (wikiposedly) was coined in Erasmus' Adagia as a figure of speech for "wasted labor."
3 A fourth name, Neptunium, was included on the original list because I was under the impression that the most stable isotope of neptunium was Np-239, and the seedling's ID number is 239A. This turns out to be incorrect: the most stable isotope of neptunium is actually Np-237, and there is no element for which isotope 239 is the most stable isotope.
Which sucks, because before I tried to verify this I was really leaning toward naming this seedling Neptunium. Somehow it just seems neptunium-like.
I've also long felt like neptunium gets unfairly overlooked, because it's between the much more useful/common/destructive uranium and plutonium. I feel bad for neptunium. (Historical periodic table trivia: uranium, neptunium, and plutonium were named after the planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.)
More trivia: there's a really good chance that there's some neptunium within fifty feet of you right now: many smoke detectors contain tiny amounts of americium-241, which decays to neptunium-237. The amount of neptunium in a smoke detector increases with the age of the detector.
And yes, just in case you were wondering: americium and neptunium are very toxic if ingested (so don't eat your smoke detectors, no matter how old they are, and don't take them apart either), but the danger of cancer from having radioactive smoke detectors in your house is much smaller than the danger of fire from having no smoke detectors in your house. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to scare you and/or take your money.
Apologies for the digression, but like I said, I was pretty sure I was going to name this one Neptunium, so I've been having all these neptunium-related thoughts, and I didn't want them going to waste.