Friday, August 17, 2018

Schlumbergera seedling no. 392

Seedling 392:

I know, right? I think this is one of only two seedlings from 2017-18 that gave me a color combination I hadn't seen before. (The other is the similar-but-different 377A. 377A technically bloomed first, but I'm having a tougher time coming up with names for it, so 392A gets to go first.)

I haven't discovered anything brand-new to the whole world here; there is already at least one named variety with a similar coloration ('Samba Brazil'), though some of the photos I've found for it make the petal margins look more orange than magenta. Even if 'Samba Brazil' isn't quite like this, I'm sure there's one like this somewhere, because that's how it is when you breed plants that other people have been breeding for a long time. Even so, I'm very happy with 392A, and took a ridiculous number of photos of it.

Our name finalists: I See You Baby, Jackpot, Proverbs 22:16, and Subjunctive.

I See You Baby refers to the song by Groove Armada (video of clean version here, though I'm not a fan of the video. Or the clean version of the song, for that matter.1). Not sure why the seedling made me think of the song exactly, but there it is anyway.

Jackpot is used in the sense of "big prize; big reward," which I feel should be self-explanatory.

Proverbs 22:16, in the New International Version of the Bible, is, "One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty." This is true less often than I'd like, but since U.S. Christians apparently no longer read the Bible,2 I thought I'd try to give it a signal boost. (I had a lot of verses to choose from, too. The Bible is really, really fucking clear about how a nation is to treat its poor people, and what God thinks of "fuck you, I've got mine" attitudes from the wealthy.)

And then Subjunctive, because, you know, I toy with the idea of naming seedlings after myself from time to time, but then I'm all, yes, but is this actually special enough that I want to be associated with it forever?, and I chicken out.

There's one more bit of information to present before I start picking the name, which is that after the original magenta-yellow-white blooms in January 2018 -- I only got one or two -- there was a long pause, and then in July, this happened:

There's, you know, a little bit of yellow in there, especially toward the base of the flower, but there's so little of it that this flower looks like just another magenta / white. So what are we going to get when it blooms again? Were the first blooms, in January, exceptional, or was the July flower the fluke?


I mean, I'd bet that the January ones are normal, and July is the exception. But it'll be a few months before we know.

So okay. Time to eliminate some names.

Happy to drop Jackpot first. It's suitable, but maybe a little too obvious.

The other three options maybe want some unpacking. I See You Baby is going to get the song stuck in my head. I like the song, and right now it feels like I wouldn't mind having it stuck in my head, but after a few years of "Crush With Eyeliner," "I Think She Likes Me," "Pushover," "Bad Reputation," "Lola," "Karma Cobra," East Of East St. Louis", "Breakin' The Law," and "No Bad Vibez," with their associated songs3 popping in and out of my head all the time, it seems like a good idea to stop and ask myself whether I really want to add another song to that playlist.4

It does, nevertheless, work for me as a name. Yes, I see you, seedling 392. I really, really see you.

Proverbs 22:16 feels like a worthwhile message, kinda, though it doesn't have anything to do with the seedling itself, and risks coming across as preachy. I mean, preachy is sort of what I was going for, so maybe that's okay. But it might become irritating with time. Plus I'm not sure colons are allowed in official cultivar names. So . . . yeah, fine, I guess I've talked myself out of Proverbs 22:16.

Subjunctive might be appropriate in light of the oddball July bloom. The subjunctive mood is used in various ways, but at least a couple of the more common cases have to do with uncertain future events, either because you're speaking hypothetically, or because the outcome you're talking about is contingent on something else happening. So it does fit a seedling whose future bloom color is somewhat in question.

Ultimately, I think I like I See You Baby better as a name of a seedling, but Subjunctive fits this specific seedling's circumstances and behavior better. Also it's possible that I See You Baby only works if you're familiar with the song, which not everyone is. So I guess I'm going to choose the name that comes with the better explanation, 392A Subjunctive, even though it feels kind of weird to name a seedling after myself.

Or, you know. Sort of myself.


1 The altered lyric is "I see you, baby / Shakin' that thing," instead of the original "shakin' that ass." I understand why the latter isn't suitable for radio, but the substitution still strikes me as kind of silly.
2 (Or if they read it, they're clearly not understanding it.)
3 Respectively, in order:
REM, "Crush With Eyeliner"
Treat Her Right, "I Think She Likes Me"
Etta James, "Pushover"
Joan Jett, "Bad Reputation"
The Kinks, "Lola"
Massive Attack, "Karmacoma"
Tom Waits, "Time"
Judas Priest, "Breaking The Law"
Rich White Ladies, "No Bad Vibez"
4 By far, the most annoying earworm -- most likely to get stuck in my head, and most irritating when it does -- is "Crush With Eyeliner," though "Karmacoma" is a solid second place.


Virginia said...

Wonderful! I love the flower and I love the name! If/when you get around to selling cutting from this, I'll buy one.

Anonymous said...

Very attractive flower on Subjunctive!

Unknown said...

that's really special, very very pretty. Well done!