Saturday, September 9, 2017

Anthurium nos. 1158 "Joey Arias" and 1750 "Dreuxilla Divine"

This is going to be quick, 'cause I don't have much time and also Friday morning (when I'm writing this) isn't going great for me so far.

So we've got Joey. Not an amazing seedling, but the color is a little more interesting than the default plain red, being slightly purplish,

and it's a decent size as well. And the leaves are nice in a weird way -- really flat, with sharper points on the "ears" than most of the seedlings have. And not much thrips damage.

Plant as a whole could be a little fuller, but I'm willing to at least wait and see how I feel about it later before deciding whether to keep or discard.

Joey Arias is apparently really interesting: friends with Klaus Nomi (and eventual executor of Nomi's estate), performed on Saturday Night Life with David Bowie one time, had a starring role in Cirque Du Soleil for six years, that kind of thing. There's probably some great reading material out there, but I don't have time to look into it.

Dreuxilla is less impressive as a seedling. You can't tell from the photo necessarily, but the inflorescence is small, and red/red is not the most interesting color combination.

As with Joey, the foliage is surprisingly nice: glossy and rounded, with an orange cast to the larger veins,

and without a lot of thrips damage.

The lack of damage is probably partly because it's a relatively new seedling: sown in March 2016, not yet a very large plant. It does take the thrips a while to find the plants, sometimes.

Dreuxilla doesn't hold the record for earliest bud, but at 14 months from sow to bud, she's pretty close.

Dreuxilla is also notable in being yet another seedling from the NOID pink-green that completely lacks all traces of the pink-green's coloration. No green in the spathe, no contrasting major veins in the spathe, no odd saddle-shaped spathes or even decent-sized spathes. Which is disappointing, though I suppose some of those traits could wind up in the next generation of seedlings, if Dreuxilla is pollinated. Which she may or may not get to be; I'm undecided about whether to keep her around, though the foliage is nice, so I'm more likely to keep than to discard, I guess.

The human Dreuxilla Divine is a Puerto Rican comic, performer, and TV show host, and again, there's probably a lot more to her that I didn't have the time or energy to dig into.

Sorry. I'll try to do better on the next post. The next seedling is more interesting than either of these anyway.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Anthurium nos. 0900 "Tessa Endurance" and 1293 "Power Infiniti"

And today, we have two pretty good seedlings with single, glaring flaws. Sort of the same flaw in both cases, in fact.

0900 Tessa Endurance is the first of 0031 Sylvester's offspring to bloom, and it strongly resembles Sylvester: they both have orange / light yellow blooms,

and dark new leaves (though Sylvester's are redder and therefore more unusual).

The huge flaw is that Tessa is apparently just covered with thrips. I mean, I'm not actually seeing them myself, but scars don't lie:

So that's disappointing. The newer growth seems to be doing slightly better, so maybe the seedling will be okay if I give it more time, but this is depressing nevertheless, especially since 0031 Sylvester has been having problems off and on with Xanthomonas and "ghost mites."1 It'd be nice to have a decent orange / white or orange / light yellow.2

Anyway. So Tessa's fate is undetermined for now; I'd like to keep her, but that will be difficult to justify if the thrips keep going after the leaves like they have been.

I'm pretty sure "Tessa Endurance" is one of the names I came up with, so there's no real-life queen to talk about.

1293 Power Infiniti is not as striking-looking, but she's produced a lot of blooms so far, and the white / yellow combination when the spathes first open isn't bad:

Occasionally the spathes are even a very, very, very light pink, though that doesn't always photograph clearly.3

Like 0648 Bianca Del Rio, the spadix changes from yellow to white over time,

but unlike Bianca, Power Infiniti sometimes then changes again, from white to yellowish-green.

The surprising part, for me, is that the blooms don't always do this. Sometimes they stay white. Maybe the color change only happens if the spadix gets pollinated? Or if it doesn't get pollinated?

In any case. You can see from the scarring on the spathe that Ms. Infiniti also has issues with thrips. I don't know if the thrips are actually worse here, or if they just show up a lot better against the white background, but either way, it's ugly, and I wish it weren't happening. Strangely, the thrips don't seem to bother the foliage at all,

so maybe what I need to do is cross Tessa and Power together and hope their offspring gets the spathe thrips resistance of Tessa and the leaf thrips resistance from Power.4

Power Infiniti is the only seedling from 0271 Wanda Reulthemal to bloom to date; Wanda appears to have passed on her floriferousness, spathe shape, and spathe size, but not her coloration (pink / pink).

The real-life Power Infiniti is a DJ and performance artist, and has been performing since the mid 90s, but I had a difficult time finding much credible information about her beyond that. Her Twitter account is mostly arguing about politics, and there are videos on YouTube but the video quality is so bad they're basically unwatchable. I did find a long, detailed (arguably overly detailed, and with some NSFW language) blog post about Power Infiniti here, though it doesn't spend as much time actually talking about Infiniti specifically as I was hoping for.5 What little there is makes her sound kinda awesome.


1 My own name for a pest that is clearly a mite of some kind but doesn't look or act like spider mites; I first blogged about them in 2014, but they'd been around for a little while before that. Spraying the foliage with soapy water, then rinsing, mostly takes care of them, but splashing water around can spread the Xanthomonas too, so I try not to do it too often. Which means that the ghost mites never actually leave; I just don't see them for a while.
2 0788 Owen McCord is close, but so far seems undecided about what color it wants its spadix to be. Sometimes they're orange.
Though now that I look at the photos, 0031 Sylvester has done that before as well, so possibly Owen's as close as I'm going to get. 0329 Gladys Panzarov was the right color but is already dead, due to ghost mites and Xanthomonas.
3 The pink is likely genetic influence from 'White Gemini,' Power Infiniti's grandparent, which had white / yellow blooms that were sometimes pink near the base of the spathe, especially as the blooms aged.
4 Easier said than done; I don't think either seedling produces pollen.
5 I mean, it's interesting anyway. It's just so far removed from my personal experience as a gay man in the 90s that I have a tough time understanding and relating to it, and I found the page in the first place because I wanted to know about her, not her milieu.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Anthurium no. 1280 "Milk"

Not the most obvious / appropriate color for a seedling named "Milk," I'll admit: that's how it goes when you assign the names before seeing the flowers. But even if the name doesn't make sense, it's still pretty:

It may not be apparent from the photos, but the color when the spathe first opened was straightforwardly pink (below), which gained a slight lavender tinge as it aged (above).1 Subtle, yes, but I don't think I was imagining it.

And it's already bloomed twice, while in a 3-inch pot, which earns it a few points for enthusiasm.

Admittedly the foliage could be better. It's not especially terrible, and the new leaves are interestingly colored,

but when you get up close and check it out, the leaves are a lot less pristine than the spathes, alas.

It's still probably a keeper. Not the most fascinating color, but there's genetic potential, the thrips resistance is good, and it's enthusiastic.

Milk is from seedling group DT; only one other DT seedling has bloomed so far, and we'll get to it in about three weeks.

The drag queen known as Milk is forever close to my heart for her involvement in this video, which I find wildly entertaining every single time even though it's dumb and I've watched it like 600 times already:

(Milk is the "Girls! You won't believe it! Guess what?" one.2)

Milk was also a contestant on Season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race, where she was notable mainly for being unusually attractive out of drag3 and for doing a bit more genderfuck-type looks than Ru and the other contestants were comfortable with. Since Drag Race, she's been all over the place doing various things, and I do mean all over the place -- as I write this, his most recent video4 is about preparing to go to Zambia to volunteer with

So I'd probably be a fan even without it, but the "he went to Jared" video is why I will always love Milk.6


1 The seed parent was 0234 Ross Koz, which has a purple-pink spathe when it first opens, so it's conceivable that Milk has inherited genes for very weak production of the pigment peonidin (responsible for purple Anthurium spathes, which can be either purple or pink depending on the pH within the cell). This would be exciting if true. I like the purples, and don't get to see them very often.
2 The other two are Vivica James and Sick Nasty, collectively "Nasty James." I don't know which is which, because it's disappointingly difficult to find anything else of theirs on-line: searches for "nasty james" return a lot of stuff about people named James, either being nasty or in close proximity to nasty things.
(screencap from the show, via Pinterest)
4 Taking a pronoun clue from the clothing; I have no idea what Milk prefers personally.
5 Granted, the video is kinda self-congratulatory and about twice as long as necessary, but . . . shut up, Mr. Subjunctive. You can complain about that when you do something comparable (and/or look that good in a mesh tank top).
6 Unless he milkshake ducks me, which is happening so often that I'm starting to think it's a bad idea to like anyone ever. Or possibly it's a bad idea to ever learn anything about anyone you like but don't actually know personally.
(Far as that goes, it's often also a bad idea to learn things about people you like and know personally.)

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Anthurium nos. 1220 "Mario Montez" and 1211 "Gina Marie Rittale"

Mario is another one from the DV seedling group; he's pretty similar to 1203 Peaches West. They both have smallish, dark red / yellow blooms, though Mario's spathes are taller than Peaches',

and Mario's foliage is not as good, mostly due to thrips damage. Both Peaches and Mario are beginning to flop over now, as the stems get longer, so there's probably no reason to keep both.

The way things look at the moment, Mario's probably going to be the one to go, if it comes down to a choice between Mario and Peaches. But I'm not necessarily in a hurry to decide.

There was a real-life Mario Montez; he was1 an actor, and appeared in several of Andy Warhol's movies between 1964 and 1966; besides the linked Wikipedia article, there's a brief but interesting article about Montez at the New York Daily News, which notes that Montez was also a co-founder of Charles Ludlam's "Ridiculous Theatrical Company,"2 something the New York Times also mentions in Montez's very interesting obituary.3

1211 Gina Marie Rittale is a contemporary drag queen, from Queens, New York. I kind of like the video Gina Marie Sees A Psychic, which I think should give you a pretty good idea of her shtick.

The seedling has only bloomed once so far, and for some reason the tips of the spathe and spadix were both burnt. I don't know precisely why this happened, but my guess is that the developing bud happened to rest on one of the fluorescent lights, and I didn't notice until it was too late to do anything about it.

It wouldn't have been an amazing bloom even if it hadn't burnt; the color's pretty ordinary, and the thrips damage is pretty obvious on the spathe. Worse, if anything, on the foliage.

Probably going to let Gina try again before making the decision, to see what she looks like when she doesn't burn herself on hot objects, but I'm probably not going to keep her either, since I have plenty of red/yellow blooms already.

Gina's from the DM seedling group, the offspring of 0223 Patty Cake, and sibling to 1209 Raven Samore Holiday and 1212 Sweet Pam. I'm still pretty happy with Pam; less sure what to do with Raven.4


1 (Montez died of a stroke in 2013)
2 Which reminds me that I skipped right over the real-life Charles Ludlam back when he got a seedling. Which is a shame, because he's much more interesting than the seedling, in an avant-garde playwright/actory sort of way. I'm particularly intrigued by the description of Ludlam's play The Mystery of Irma Vep (1984), in which two actors play seven roles through various quick costume changes.
3 The Times describes a scene from Warhol's first film with sound, Harlot, in which "Mr. Montez slowly, silently and seductively devoured banana after banana;" this is of course now on YouTube, for readers who care to see it. I found it a lot less interesting than the description indicates (and unless I'm going deaf, there doesn't actually seem to be any audio on the scene so I don't understand the point of noting that it was Warhol's first film with sound), but then, that's my reaction to most of Warhol's stuff. (Not denying that Warhol was important or genuinely Art or whatever: I just don't like most of his work, and am pretty sure I wouldn't have liked him personally either. Possibly the latter is the reason for the former.)
4 Who has now bloomed a second time; the second bloom is taller and more normally-proportioned than the unusually broad first spathe, but it's also considerably more lopsided. First bloom:

Second bloom:

It's less obvious because the second photo was taken at an angle, but the right-hand side of the spathe is about 20% smaller than the left. This happens from time to time, and doesn't usually happen repeatedly to the same seedling, so I'm pretty sure it's an environmental issue, not a genetic one. But it's not a great sign, if Raven keeps producing oddly misshapen spathes.