Saturday, August 25, 2018

Schlumbergera seedlings 241 and 338

A couple second-generation seedlings this time. 241A is yet another seedling from 025A "Clownfish." There have been a lot of those by now,1 but 241A is one of the better ones -- the only one that is competitive, in my opinion, is 244A That's My Purse, and at least half of the appeal of That's My Purse is the name.

I'm not going to be able to give 241A a better name. Not that I didn't try. The finalists wound up being: Historic Barn, Marceline, Pat Benatar, and Try And Stop Me.

Historic Barn is basically only a reference to the color. Barns aren't always painted red, especially now, but the archetypal barn for most people2 is red with white trim, for the simple and practical reason that for a long time, red paint (colored by iron oxide and/or the iron from animal blood) was the cheapest paint color available. Apparently the iron also protects the wood a bit against attack by mold, and there are other side benefits (it's pretty, it's highly visible), but mostly it was an economic decision.

Marceline is a vampire from the animated TV show Adventure Time, who eats the color red, rather than eating blood. I haven't seen much of Adventure Time -- only the few episodes Netflix carried briefly, a long time ago -- but I liked what little I'd seen well enough to name a seedling after the show (if sort of indirectly3), so it's kind of unsurprising that we find ourselves back here again.

Pat Benatar is the rock musician. Previously considered the name a couple times before: I passed on 198A Prophecy Of Joy because I felt Benatar needed a more kickass flower, and 250A Glede because I thought a Pat Benatar Schlumbergera should be redder. 241A is both kickassier and redder, and in the Glede post I specifically suggested that 241A would make a good Pat Benatar, so . . . maybe this is the one?

Try And Stop Me is just here because I get kind of a boastful, aggressive vibe from this seedling and I needed a fourth name.

So it's easy to drop one of the names: Try And Stop Me possibly shouldn't even have been on the list in the first place. And although I like Marceline, the fact that there's already a seedling that's an Adventure Time reference (if only sort of a reference) means that a second one is sort of redundant. (Plus I don't know what they've done with the character after the first season or two.)

But the other two names, Historic Barn and Pat Benatar, are both really working for me, and they're both color-specific. I mean, I suppose the seedling I name Pat Benatar doesn't have to be red, but red feels right. And I had specifically mentioned 241A as a seedling that seemed suitable. This is also the only really red red we got this year: there's a very nice red/pink (160A), a sort of washed-out red that isn't quite pink (227A), and a number of [magenta]/red/orange/whites (157A, 172A, 174A, 225A, 470A?, 426A, 183A), but if there is a name that must go to a red/white seedling, this is the seedling that has to get that name, or else I wait until next year.4 So it's a tough decision.

I think I'm going to go with 241A Pat Benatar, though, on the grounds that 1) I was already thinking of that name going with this seedling, and 2) historic barns don't have feelings5 and won't mind waiting for another year or two.

But wait! There's another seedling!

338A is the first seedling from 088A Cyborg Unicorn to bloom, and I gotta say I'm disappointed. The whole point of crossing 088A Cyborg Unicorn with something was that it has really vivid orange/magenta blooms: I was hoping for something similarly intense.

I mean, not that this is bad. It's just, how many more orange/pink seedlings does a guy need, you know?

So okay. Well. Name candidates: Glissando, John The Baptist, Kaylee, and Neutrino.

Glissando is the musical term for progressing from one note to another by sliding quickly through all the intermediate notes. I understood the term to mean a series of distinct steps (like playing the keys on a piano) rather than a continuous slide (like on a trombone), but Wikipedia says that in practice "glissando" is used for both, and if you want to specify the distinct steps, you're talking about a discrete glissando. The distinction doesn't really matter for seedling-naming purposes, but something about the arrangement of the tips of the petals in the below photo brought the word to mind. (If you see it, you see it; if you don't, don't worry about it: it's not important.)

John The Baptist made more sense when I was still planning to name the seedlings in the order in which they bloomed; 338A was the seedling that bloomed right before 392A Subjunctive. (And yes, I know how that looks, but if I had named this one John The Baptist, I almost certainly wouldn't have named 392A after myself.) Since the seedlings are getting named out of order, this doesn't make sense anymore, but, I dunno, I always felt kinda bad for John. Spends all that time preaching, only to get beheaded for his troubles, and then everybody just forgets about him.6

Kaylee is the character from Firefly, played by Jewel Staite. Previously considered as the name for 182A Padparadscha.

Neutrino is the subatomic particle; if there was a reason for it ending up on the list of name finalists, I no longer remember what it was. What I think of when I think of neutrinos is mostly that they interact only rarely with matter,7 and they have so little mass that for a long time, scientists thought that they might not have any mass at all.

So okay. Well. I kind of like John The Baptist, but it doesn't work in this context, so I'll drop it. And Kaylee is problematic for a number of reasons: while I like the character and (as far as I know) the actress, it works best for a seedling that can match the colors of Kaylee's dress in the episode "Shindig,"8 and also . . . well, I'm kinda over Joss Whedon now.9 I recognize that there were a lot of other people involved in making Kaylee Kaylee, but it's hard not to see her as primarily Whedon's creation.

I mean, I suppose I could say I was naming the seedling after the Breaking Bad character,10 Mike's granddaughter, but that Kaylee is barely a character and that would be weird. So let's forget about Kaylee for a while.

Which leaves Glissando and Neutrino, neither of which particularly make sense as a seedling name. I suppose at any given moment, the seedling contains a bunch of neutrinos, technically. On the other hand, the petals' color gradually shading from pink to orange is sort of the color equivalent of a glissando. And the flowers are much more there than a neutrino. So . . . I'm surprised that this is where the decision-making process took us, but it seems like it kind of has to be 338A Glissando.


1 Besides 241A, there have been blooms from 236A [name TBD], 237A Neptunium, 239A Plow The Seashore, 240A Schwa, 244A That's My Purse, 248A [name TBD], 250A Glede, and 252A [name TBD].
2 At least people in Scandinavia and the northern United States; I don't know how people paint their archetypal barns elsewhere in the world.
3 132A Pointy Space Princess, who is a reference to the show's character, Lumpy Space Princess.
4 And technically, this one is also a red/orange/white; it's just that the orange is unusually weak, or the red is unusually strong.
5 (that we know of)
6 I'm pretty sure I remember John getting mentioned again, so it's not like he's actually completely forgotten, but he's pretty nearly forgotten. It makes sense in context, but, I dunno, it sorta felt to me like Jesus could have started a sermon or two with "Hey, everybody remember John? Let's have a round of applause for John." Maybe it's just me.
7 Every very square centimeter of the Earth's surface has 70 billion (70,000,000,000) neutrinos passing through it per second (per Wikipedia), because the sun is continually cranking them out. (They're formed in nuclear reactions in the sun's core.) It's kind of like matter is just not even there to neutrinos. Though very, very occasionally, one of them will hit something, which can be detected and counted (which is how we can be certain they exist at all). Neutrinos are just unspeakably weird.
8 (photo at the 182A Padparadscha post, if you've forgotten the dress)
9 It's been nearly a decade since he's done anything that I actually liked. (Last project that worked for me was probably The Cabin in the Woods; I forced myself to watch all of Dollhouse but only managed to like 4 out of 26 episodes at all, then bounced really hard off of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and gave up on Whedon after The Avengers, the popularity of which I find completely baffling.)
And then there's the stuff that came out last August; I'm not going to talk about it here, and really don't want to argue about it with anybody (and will delete comments that attempt to argue), but if you do a search for "Joss Whedon affairs," you'll find what I'm talking about.
It's not that I'm looking to punish him -- Whedon already has all the money he was likely to get out of me anyway, since I haven't liked his recent stuff. I just can't enjoy his past stuff in the way I used to.
10 The husband and I just finished a really fast rewatch of Breaking Bad, and it's still pretty great. I'm not necessarily recommending it; it's not everybody's kind of thing. But I did enjoy it. Possibly liked it better the second time, even.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Anthurium nos. 1709 "Jinkx Monsoon" and 1313 "A'Kasha Lima"

Jinkx is just a nice, solid seedling. The spathes are initially orange, and gradually become pinker with age, which is perhaps not . . . ideal, but they're large, and long-lasting, and she's producing a lot of them,1 so I can live with a little bit of color-fading.

The foliage isn't amazing; I'd be happier if there weren't so many thrips scars. Though in the absence of the thrips, I suppose it would be attractive enough.

And the plant as a whole is very robust. I want to move her up to a bigger pot, as I mentioned earlier, but there's no room at the moment, so she'll have to be patient for a while longer.

Also, I haven't been commenting on the drag queen angle of things lately, because it's time-consuming enough to keep up with the plant side of the posts, but Jinkx is worth looking up, if you care about drag queens but have somehow managed not to hear of her already.2

A'Kasha's blooms are a little weird; the spadix is initially light yellow, but then blushes a kind of patchy red, eventually settling down to a red-pink at the tip and a green-brown at the base. Which I thought was unusual until I began writing the post, and then I started second-guessing myself: I can't remember whether this has happened before or not. In any case, the spathe is a nice dark red, which doesn't photograph as particularly dark.

What's actually interesting about A'Kasha is her first bud, which was remarkably wicked-looking:

I haven't been watching closely enough to see whether later buds have looked the same.

As is common with the dark red blooms, the leaves are such a dark green that cameras don't seem to know how to depict them,

and the texture is interesting too, somehow kind of glossy and matte at the same time. The spathe has thrips damage, but I can't find any at all on the leaves, and it's a pretty full-looking plant as well.

I'm not sure that A'Kasha is interesting enough to be guaranteed a place forever, but she's certainly cool enough to hang on to for quite a while.


1 Not visible in the photos because, as with basically all of the recent Anthurium posts, the photos are very old. This is what happens when you're trying to catch up with seedlings that bloomed eleven months ago (Jinkx's first bloom opened on 4 October 2017): the seedlings keep growing while you're getting your shit together.
2 Among other things, she won season 5 of RuPaul's Drag Race, but there's more. Wikipedia is a good place to start.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Schlumbergera seedling no. 226

226 is the first seedling from 'Exotic Dancer' to bloom, though there will be a few others this year eventually (227, 323, and 225). I had been hoping for new colors or combinations from the new seed parents, but mostly that didn't happen, so in that sense 226 is disappointing -- just another reddish-orange -- but it does have one interesting thing going for it, which is that the plant's habit is a bit odd. The whole stem is so flat that it very nearly lies in a single plane. Not particularly noticeable if you look at it head-on:

but if you look at it from the side, you can see how little effort it's making to collect light from certain directions.

I don't know whether this is genetic, or a response to where the light's coming from, but I lean toward genetic, because plenty of other seedlings on the same shelf don't disappear when viewed from the side. (188A Freyja's Turkey has a particularly nice, symmetrical vase shape.) So that's kind of interesting.

Our name finalists: Be Not Afraid, Inextinguishable, Not My Circus, Torch And Pitchfork.

The intended reference for Be Not Afraid is Biblical: angels always seem to need to say it before having a conversation with anybody. For quite a while, I thought angels must just be particularly scary in appearance, but it's occurred to me recently that it'd be a little startling to have even a regular-looking person appear somewhere where you weren't expecting a person to be. Maybe that's all it means.1

Inextinguishable is another in a very long list of ideas that reference fire. Which is what happens when you have lots of things to name that are orange, red, and shades in between.

I'm not sure why Not My Circus felt appropriate for this seedling particularly. It's a reference to what is apparently a Polish saying, "not my circus; not my monkeys," and at least according to a comment here, the usual Polish usage would be in a situation where, after trying to convince someone not to do X, they say they're going to do X. Sort of a "well, I warned you, whatever happens after this is not my problem" response. Whereas the way I've seen Americans using it has been more "oh, that building is on fire, but I'm not responsible for the building so I don't need to do anything about it, it's not my problem."

Torch And Pitchfork refers to the standard accoutrements of angry mobs, so it's also more or less a fire reference. It was previously considered for 069A Sweetie Darling and 093A Flamingo Burlesque.

So. I guess I'll drop Torch And Pitchfork first; I'm not loving the implied violence (even though the implied violence was probably the reason it got on the list in the first place; I contain multitudes2). And while the Polish version of Not My Circus isn't terrible, the American version is, a little bit, so maybe we can lose it too.

So it's down to Be Not Afraid and Inextinguishable, and I'm thinking that Inextinguishable may be making promises that the seedling can't actually keep. Plus "don't be afraid" is often pretty good advice. And I had a dream and everything. So it looks like 226A Be Not Afraid, I guess.


1 Be Not Afraid is also the first Schlumbergera name idea that I've dreamt about. It was even a musical dream, no less: there was a whole song that went with it. The only lyric I can remember is "I'm not afraid of angels," but still, that's kinda cool: how often does your subconscious work up original music for a dream?
2 Looking at the list of all selected names so far, I see that I usually steer clear of the violent/angry ones. Even if I stretch really, really hard to count names as violent, there are maybe only about dozen of them, max. So maybe I shouldn't be bothering to stick them on the lists in the first place.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Anthurium nos. 1364, 1734, 1666, 1362, and 1356

Pretty middle-of-the-road batch today, though there's one I like, and another that's at least mildly interesting.

Anthurium no. 1364 "Foxxie Lane"

Foxxie is an okay pink / pink. Not a lot to say about the inflorescences.

I'm a bit more interested in Foxxie's foliage, actually: the leaves are a bit on the long and narrow side,

and are pretty large for the overall size of the plant, which could be a good thing. Who knows. This is more or less in keeping with her seed parent, 0290 RuPaul Charles, though Ru had red spathes, not pink.

Also Foxxie doesn't have much thrips damage, which is very unlike her seed parent, and probably the best thing about her.

I find I don't have strong feelings either way about keeping or discarding Foxxie, so I guess I'll keep her for now, and make the decision later.

Anthurium no. 1734 "Honey Bea Hart"

I didn't get foliage pictures again, so we'll judge this one solely on the basis of the bloom.

Ennh. Looks a lot like 'Red Hot,' who I'm pretty sure is at least one, maybe two, of Honey Bea's grandparents.1 I don't really have strong feelings about this one either.

Anthurium no. 1666 "Horrorchata"

Horrorchata, on the other hand, I like, mostly for the bloom color.

The spathes so far have been pretty small, but at least they're plural, and the thrips seem to be keeping their distance, for whatever unfathomable thripsian reasons. So probably a keeper.

The leaves are more matte than glossy, which is not my preference but it's okay. Not a lot of thrips damage on the foliage either, which is good.

As I'm pretty sure I've said already, somewhere, Horrorchata is another seedling from 0330 Faye Quinette. Faye's seedlings haven't been uniformly awesome or anything, but they do tend to be a little more interesting than average.

Anthurium no. 1362 "Jaymee Sexton"

Another one where I missed getting the foliage photos. The interesting thing about Jaymee is that the spadix color seems to be really variable. The spadix from the first bloom was lighter than the spathe,

and the spadix from the second bloom was darker.

It may be that the first photo was taken of a spathe that had just opened, and for the second photo, I didn't notice the bloom right away, so it had time to change color. I don't know. My notes from October/November/December last year aren't great; there was a lot going on.

Jaymee's seed parent was 0594 Charity Case, a pretty ordinary pink/pink. One of her siblings has also bloomed, and is also a bit more interesting than the average pink/pink, so we have that to look forward to. I guess.

Anthurium no. 1356 "Regina Cartier"

Finally, Regina, whose seed parent was the pink/pink 0273 Wes Coast. Wes's kids have had a few things in common: they have tended to produce unusually large leaves (even though Wes's were not particularly large themselves), scale loves them so much that I had to throw almost all of them out, and the ones that survive long enough to bloom don't produce pink/pink blooms. The pink-orange 0728 Sister Dimension had pretty nice blooms but thrips damage on the foliage, and 0788 Owen McCord has really fantastic, vivid orange/yellow or orange/orange blooms, with brown new leaves.

Regina, surprisingly, decided to go with white spathes.

Well, not white. Technically, it's a very, very, very pale pink. But it photographs so close to white that it may as well be white. The problem with white spathes is that even the tiniest bit of thrips damage stands out.

Somewhat mixed feelings about the foliage. On the one hand, there's a lot of it,

but it's not especially large or shiny or interestingly-colored or anything. It's just a leaf.

In the above photo, ignore the brown patches near the leaf tip. The plants have grown to the point where they're touching the fluorescent bulbs above them, and I don't have anywhere to move them to, and I can't adjust the shelf heights without putting other plants even closer to the bulbs, so . . . some of the leaves get scorched. It's not the plant's fault.

Probably keeping Regina: it's nice to have the variety of colors, even if I'm not crazy about white-blooming seedlings.

Yay! We're making progress through the seedlings! Might be caught up by early November, not mid-November like I initially thought.


1 Honey Bea's seed parent is 0108 Deena Sequins, which I think is probably NOID purple (known) x 'Red Hot' (guess). The pollen parent could be a lot of different plants, and it's unlikely that I'm ever going to find out which.