Saturday, August 11, 2018

Schlumbergera seedlings 373 and 418

I'd forgive you for not being impressed yourself, but I am occasionally impressed with how many different ways I've managed to come up with to say "ugh, another orange Schlumbergera."

I bring this up, of course, because both of our seedlings today are orange Schlumbergeras. Not necessarily in a bad way, mind you. They're pretty. They're fine. But how can there be SO MANY OF THEM?

Anyway. So first up we have 373A, yet another disappointing non-yellow seedling from the NOID yellow. It's a nice strong orange. Not a heavy bloomer. The name finalists are: Autodidact, Chop Wood Carry Water, Slow-Moving Vehicle, and With Cheese.

Autodidact, meaning someone who is self-taught, was intended to refer to the color in the sense of, here's a seedling that was trying under its own effort to bloom yellow, and got close, but failed. Doesn't quite work logically, but I like the word anyway, so we can consider it, right?

Chop Wood Carry Water was previously considered for seedling 077C Flickering, and is explained there.

Slow-Moving Vehicle was previously considered for 075A Pushover; it was intended as a reference to the color. In the U.S. and Canada, slow vehicles like horse-drawn buggies or some farm equipment are required to have a bright orange triangular sign mounted on them, to make them more visible to other traffic.

And With Cheese is mostly just a reference to the orange color of some kinds of cheese (usually not the natural color of the cheese, but dyed orange with annatto and/or oleoresin paprika).

So looking at the options, I'm much less taken with With Cheese than I was when I came up with the list of finalists, so out it goes. And Autodidact possibly requires too much explanation, and/or doesn't really make any sense even if you explain it.

Slow-Moving Vehicle kind of makes sense, insofar as this seedling hasn't produced a lot of blooms so far, but I think I like Chop Wood Carry Water better, since it has a hint of "ugh, another orange Schlumbergera" to it. So we'll go with 373A Chop Wood Carry Water.

Seedling 418A is perhaps a bit prettier. It at least has a wider range of colors present in it. It doesn't resemble its seed parent (the NOID magenta) either.

Name finalists: A Few Too Many, Reaffirmed, Saltwater Taffy, and Stunt Double.

Three of the four of those are "ugh, another orange Schlumbergera" in one way or another. There have, arguably, been A Few Too Many orange seedlings; we've Reaffirmed that it's possible to get orange Schlumbergeras, and 418A likely has very little use to me except possibly as a Stunt Double for some older, larger, or more valuable seedling, should one be necessary.

Saltwater Taffy, previously considered for 208A Raspberry Possum and 178A Lulu's Night Off, and sort of considered for 100A Circular Reference, isn't exactly a reference to anything, though sometimes the colors or shapes of the petals do remind me a little bit of saltwater taffy.

So. I find that Stunt Double isn't really doing much for me at the moment, and although Reaffirmed is accurate, it's also more abstract than our other choices.

So it comes down to A Few Too Many or Saltwater Taffy. Either would work fine for me, though because A Few Too Many is associated with being drunk, I think I'd rather save it for a seedling that looks a bit more disheveled. So we'll call it 418A Saltwater Taffy.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Anthurium no. 1227 "Angelboi"

At first, Angelboi doesn't seem like anything terribly special. The spathes are fairly large, I suppose, but it's otherwise just another red/yellow in a very, very long line of red/yellows. How excited can a person get about something like that?

But as the inflorescence ages, he starts looking more special. More textured.

And by the time the true flowers on the spadix have come and gone, the spathe is looking downright weird. It's still red, but now there's a netting of green veins there too. (If anything, this is more vivid in person.1)

I've seen this sort of thing before, a few times, though usually if there's a striking contrast between the spathe and the veins, it's occurring on the back of the spathe. I won't say that there haven't been any others with contrasting veins on the front, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. Certainly nothing as dramatic as this.

So that's pretty cool.

Angelboi also turns out to have nice foliage. Not so much shiny and colorful foliage,

but it's at least large, and mostly unbothered by thrips. (This is more or less in keeping with its seed parent, 0276 Zach Religious, which also has large broad leaves, though Zach's leaves are shinier.) The overall shape of the plant could use a little improvement, I suppose -- since the full-plant photo here

was taken, the distance between leaves on the main stem has increased, so now it's flopping out of the pot a bit. Which isn't ideal. But still: that's at least a respectable number of leaves, and I'm willing to overlook some flaws if the bloom is weird enough. So I'm really happy with this one.

I'm basically out of room now, unfortunately. Have been for a long time. So although Angelboi needs to move up to a larger pot,2 he's going to have to wait. Hopefully he can survive at least that long.


1 I should also note that the bloom from the two first photos is not the same bloom as the one from the third. The one from the third photo had already cracked around the spathe margins when it opened.
2 As do several other seedlings.
I'd like to promote 1171 Chris Of Hur, which has had a consistently inconsistent bloom color since it started to bloom: mostly the spathe starts out pink and ages slowly to orange, but sometimes it goes red to orange, or pink to red to orange. It's weird and interesting and I can't make any sense of it. So naturally I love it.
1213 Miss Foozie has done well for herself too: the spathes are coming a bit more often now, and they're always large and flat and pleasingly-colored. Repotting is less urgent in her case, because she's nearly died of rot once already, and a larger pot would only make that more likely. But still, eventually, she should get a bigger pot.
1268 Lil' Miss Hot Mess continues to produce short, wide, and asymmetrical spathes, and blooms pretty often to boot, so she's at least under consideration for a promotion.
And then there are several seedlings I haven't introduced you to yet that should also be promoted, if only I had the space: 1352 Queen Bee Luscious, 1709 Jinkx Monsoon, 1720 Mado Lamotte, 1731 Robyn Millyonz, and 1733 Jayyvon Monroe. Each of which will get a post to itself eventually. Be patient.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Anthurium nos. 1722, 1685, 1629, 1314, and 1673

Kind of a depressing batch today.

Anthurium no. 1722 "Bourgeoisie"

Bourgeoisie doesn't look depressing. The bloom was actually quite nice. Large, more or less free of thrips damage, and a color combination that's a little unusual, at least (especially considering the red/purple seed parent, 0108 Deena Sequins):

Leaves weren't anything to write home about, but they were fine. Not overly damaged by thrips. And the plant budded while still pretty small.

Alas, after many months of not seeing scale in the basement, it came back, and most of the plants on Bourgeoisie's flat had to be discarded. Not a tragic loss, as there are still seedlings around with this color combination, but I'd had high hopes for this one, given the minimal thrips damage and the larger-than-expected inflorescences. So it's at least disappointing.

Anthurium no. 1685 "Betty Bowers"

I dared to hope for something interesting from Betty. Her seed parent was 0031 Sylvester, who isn't ideal (overly prone to the ghost mites, small inflorescences) but has some desirable characteristics (really striking dark red color on the new leaves, leaves are shiny, unusual orange/beige color combination). But she wound up being just another red / yellow.

The shiny-leaf genes, at least, appear to have carried through, but that's about all she's got going for her. The thrips are a problem,

and although I like the overall form of the plant,

there's just not a whole lot there to justify keeping her around.

I mean, I may keep her anyway, because I do that sometimes. But I'm still disappointed.

Anthurium no. 1629 "Jodie Harsh"

Jodie isn't terrible, but the photo is misleading as to color (this was one of the first photos I took with the new camera, when I was trying to figure it out, and so the color settings were off: in reality it's just red),

and the spathe had plenty of thrips damage as soon as it opened. The leaves, strangely, seemed to be thrips-resistant,

so I'm not sure what's up with the spathe. I've noticed that sometimes the thrips seem to go for the leaves and not the spathes, or the spathes and not the leaves, but I don't know whether that's genetic or luck.

In any case, considering that the seed parent was 0276 Zach Religious, which produces gigantic pink spathes and interesting (if occasionally thrips-scarred) foliage, I'd thought Jodie might be better. I mean, I'm willing to wait for a rebloom and see if things improve. But I'm not impressed so far.

Anthurium no. 1314 Lenna Cumberbatch"

Lenna is also already dead; she got too dry last October and couldn't be revived. Sometimes this happens. Not a big loss; the bloom wasn't particularly interesting, and thrips got to the foliage.

Lenna's seed parent was the also-deceased 0279 Tristan Shout, which was a pretty boring pink/pink, so I don't think anything particularly valuable has been lost here.

Anthurium no. 1673 "Bryce Pilaf"

Finally, Bryce, who is at least interesting, if not beautiful.

Bryce's spadix is considerably longer than his spathe, which is something that happens occasionally. This is easier to see in an earlier photo, taken as the spathe was unfurling:

If the later blooms are more normally-proportioned (which sometimes happens when the first bloom looks like this), Bryce might be worth keeping; I like the darker, duller red. Bryce's seed parent, 0330 Faye Quinette, does a similar thing but with orange (in both cases, I think the explanation is that the spathe also contains some chlorophyll, which muddies the otherwise bright red and orange pigments). Not sure how commercially viable brownish-reds and -oranges are, but I like them. So we'll see how that goes. Bryce's foliage doesn't have much to recommend it.

I mean, that's not the worst foliage I've seen lately (The worst would probably be either 0650 Phyllis Deen or 1317 Calpernia Addams.), but it's not good.

I don't have any objection to the overall shape of the plant, though, so if the bloom winds up being nice, I could live with the foliage.

Sorry this post was kind of a bummer; I'm trying to keep approximately to the same order as the seedlings originally bloomed, and sometimes the seedlings are . . . well, kind of a bummer. I'll do something interesting and/or pretty next post.