Saturday, September 8, 2018

Anthurium no. 1720 "Mado Lamotte"

I've been teasing a green flower for a few posts now, and it's finally here. This is Mado:

26 November 2017.

Personally I think this is very pretty, though I suppose your feelings about green flowers may vary. Less attractively, the color changes over time, with the spathe getting lighter and lighter and the spadix getting darker and then abruptly changing to white.

29 November 2017.

This isn't the worst thing in the world, I suppose, and I actually like the spadix changing from light green to dark green to white, but I would have been happier if the spathe had held its color better, or gotten darker with age.

8 December 2017.

Also, as you can see, the thrips got to it a bit.

12 December 2017.

But whatever Mado's deficiencies, it's still a green/green. And it's a bit more solid than the previous greenest seedling, 1419 Maya Douglas, from a year ago. Mostly the problem with Maya is that she's only produced one inflorescence, so I don't know what a "normal" Maya Douglas bloom looks like yet.1

Mado hasn't bloomed again either, but it seems like it ought to be only a matter of time: the plant is large and vigorous, and only about two and a half years old, so I'm not worried yet.

And the leaves, individually, are nice. Not any thrips damage that I can see in the photo.

So Mado is a good candidate to get promoted to a 6-inch pot, if and when I can find space for a new group of 6-inch plants. Which may never happen. I don't know. I might wind up discarding some of the existing 6-inch plants, instead of creating new space: a few of them have been annoying me a bit.2

Mado's seed parent was 0234 Ross Koz. Just to refresh your memory, Ross looks like this:

I have no idea what pollen parent could produce green/green offspring from a purple-red / light yellow seed parent. Possibly 0330 Faye Quinette? Faye does make pollen, and there's some green pigment in her spathes. I'm pretty sure I never got pollen from 'Midori,' and in any case I think 'Midori' was already dead by the time Ross would have been pollinated for this seedling. But who knows.

Anyway. Obviously a keeper. Many of the species of Anthurium used for modern hybrids produce green spathes,3 so there's a sense in which it feels like moving backwards to make green blooms on purpose. But I don't care: this one's mine, and I think it's pretty.

The performer Mado Lamotte is from Montreal; I don't know anything about her besides what the Wikipedia article says.


1 I think Maya did produce a second bud several months back. It didn't get very far before being aborted, though.
2 (Looking at you, 0083 Carmen Adairya.)
A. formosum is pale greenish white to pale lavender, with a light yellow spadix that turns white at maturity.
A. hoffmannii is yellow-green / light yellow.
A. nymphaeifolium is (green or white) / (yellow or pale purple).
A. ravenii is light green / white.

The Anthurium-breeding book also includes photos of some hybrids involving other species, specifically A. cerrocampanense, A. garagaranum, A. lentii, and A. caperatum, without ever describing or photographing the species themselves, though the internet came through with some descriptions:
A. caperatum is pale green / pale green according to this site, though I couldn't find photos.
• The same source says A. cerrocampanense is light green to yellowish green with streaks of dark green or purple, with a green spadix.
A. garagaranum is an obsolete name for A. trilobum, and has pale green / yellow inflorescences. (A. trilobum also seems like it would be a really good species to use if you were trying to introduce some variation in leaf shape: as the name suggests, the leaves are divided into three lobes. (NOTE: still considers A. garagaranum the correct name, so it's possible that it's been changed back, or was never officially changed in the first place. Trilobum does a better job of describing the plant, but garagaranum is much more fun to say and type, so I can't decide which name I want to win.)
A. lentii's spathe is green tinged with purple (ref.), and the spadix is purple.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Schlumbergera seedlings: assorted

Seedling 227A was the second 'Exotic Dancer' seedling to bloom; the first was 226A Be Not Afraid. I'm not sure how I feel about 227A. The coloration is very similar to the magenta / red / orange / white group of seedlings, like 106A Jaws Of Elmo or 079A Yayoi Kusama, but the "red" is a softer, pinker red. It's possible that this is a fluke; I only got two flowers, both kind of . . . rustic,1 so the color may not be typical. But it's all we have to go on for the moment.

Name finalists: Fruit Filling, Maraschino, On A Galloping Horse, Realsome.

Fruit Filling and Maraschino are both references to the color, and probably don't need further explanation. On A Galloping Horse is something I encountered at MetaFilter. The quote (from MeFite agatha_magatha) is:
I quote a friend who works in visual merchandising, "Done is beautiful," whenever I get too caught up in crossing every t and dotting every i—I often pair it with my grandma Jesse’s saying, "it will never be noticed on a galloping horse," which applies specifically to less than perfect housekeeping.

Not sure why being on horseback is such a go-to metaphor for being sort of hasty, slapdash, and unconsidered (see Horseback Opinion), but it is.

And then Realsome is a good substitute for my hated usage of "rustic." Found it in the dialect dictionary (previous explanation of the dialect dictionary). It was heard in 1896, in Parker County, Texas, as an antonym for "ideal."

Really, without the thrips damage, this would be fine. Just bad timing on the plant's part, I think, to bloom in the middle of thrips season.

So Maraschino obviously wants a seedling that's a more vivid red, like 241A Pat Benatar, perhaps. And Fruit Filling is fine, but it just doesn't do it for me at the moment, I don't know why. Perhaps because nothing's getting filled here.

This was the second bloom; I don't know why the stamens are stuck together.

Between On A Galloping Horse and Realsome, I guess the latter is more abstract, and the former would apply better if the seedling wound up blooming more attractively in the future. When I started writing this post, I was pretty sure that it was going to be On A Galloping Horse. But that was before I got distracted by "rustic," and so I feel kind of like I should try to make Realsome a thing.2 So, I guess, 226A Realsome, but with the option to change the name within the next few days, if I decide I don't like it after all.

Seedling 248A is, um, also a bit realsome. Only got one flower, and then only one photo of that one flower,

so it's not like we're working with a ton of information about what it's like. I still don't understand why sometimes the petals lower down on the flower fail to open. But it's clearly orange, and maybe that's all we need to know.

The names: I Can But Choose Not To, Stage Whisper, Underfunded, and Wee Bairn.

I Can But Choose Not To is a perhaps overly snotty reference to the bloom failing to open fully. Wee Bairn3 alludes to the flower's size, which indeed was unusually small. Stage Whisper is kind of a nice metaphor for a flower that is simultaneously trying to show itself (bright orange) and hide itself (only partly open, tiny), as stage whispers are meant to be heard while also giving the impression of quiet. Underfunded posits that maybe the flower meant to open, but just ran out of money to complete construction.

Not going to go into the full thought process, but: I think I'm most satisfied with the metaphor of Stage Whisper, so let's go with 248A Stage Whisper.

143A is a seedling from the NOID peach, which I don't even need to tell you, because the color is so clearly pale orange.

Names are: An Error Occurred, Big Mama Thornton, Short-Sheeted, and Sweet-Grape.

It's probably not true that An Error Occurred, though between the unexpected color and the incomplete development, it sure is tempting to think one could have. Short-Sheeted is also a reference to the inadequate development, though this is nowhere near the color I think of when I think of bedsheets, so I'm going to drop it just based on that.

Big Mama Thornton is the rhythm-and-blues singer, most famous for having recorded "Hound Dog" before Elvis did it, but she also wrote "Ball And Chain," which Janis Joplin made a hit in 1967-68. This video of Thornton performing "Hound Dog" live is kind of amazing. Turns out that the original lyrics make a lot more sense than Elvis's rabbit-catching foolishness.

Sweet-Grape is another name from the dialect dictionary, reported from the Tennessee mountains in 1938. It means a friend; the antonym "sour-grape" for an enemy is in the dictionary as well. And I should probably show you the second bloom, because Sweet-Grape will make a lot more sense then:

Since the second bloom was a lot more normal-looking than the first,4 I'm inclined to drop An Error Occurred and Short-Sheeted. And although I love Big Mama Thornton, I'm also surprisingly fond of Sweet-Grape, specifically for this seedling, because there's so little white at the base of the petals. That may or may not be genetic; I won't know until it's bloomed quite a few more times. In any case, I'm surprised by how conflicted I am about this: I was expecting Big Mama Thornton to be the only obvious choice.

In the end, I suppose 143A Big Mama Thornton still is the best choice. But I do want there to be a nice, well-behaved magenta/white soon so I can name it Sweet-Grape.

Finally, we have seedling 406A. White/white, but in a good way:

Not a lot to be said about it, really: it's obviously a seedling from the NOID white, and it may be one of the better white seedlings, but I'm not awarding it any points for originality. The names: Carrie Fisher, Deliver Us From Evil, Flock Of Wolves, Unmarked Vehicle.

Carrie Fisher was previously considered for 095B Pele's Lipstick; I think a white seedling suits her better, considering that she's best known for Princess Leia, and Leia usually wore white.5

Deliver Us From Evil is an always-timely bit from the Lord's Prayer.

Flock Of Wolves is a TV Tropes category,6 referring to multiple groups infiltrating one group without being aware of one another's presence. It's sort of like, there are so many wolves in sheep's clothing that it becomes difficult to find any actual sheep. This is also always timely, but in a different way.

Unmarked Vehicles don't have to be white vans -- and in reality, apparently they are almost never white nor vans -- but on TV, they often are. Which makes the name seem appropriate for a white seedling.7

So. Not all that interested in Unmarked Vehicle; it's fine but seems a little bland. And Deliver Us From Evil is maybe a little . . . earnest? I don't feel especially earnest at the moment.

Which leaves Carrie Fisher or Flock Of Wolves, both of which are probably best-suited to a white seedling, but only Flock Of Wolves actually has to be white. Plus it's a bit newer to me, so I'm still amused by it. Therefore 406A Flock Of Wolves.


1 I'd like to take the moment to complain about "rustic." It's always, I guess, meant something like "unrefined and amateurish" in addition to the primary, original meaning of "from the country; rural." Rural tastes are not any less sophisticated or exacting than those of urbanites (it's just that the urbanites are the ones deciding what sophisticated is, because they make all the TV and print all the magazines and etc.), so it's a little offensive to those of us who live in the country. But I'm even more irritated when people use it as a euphemism for "that looks like crap," as I hear occasionally on television now. Most recently this was on The Great British Baking Show (originally "Bake Off," but you can't use "bake-off" for baking competitions in the U.S. because Pillsbury owns the trademark), but that's not the only place.
How much do I actually care about this? Not very much, obviously, since I'm willing to use it myself in this post. But I do notice when other people say it, and it rubs me the wrong way.
2 (It is obviously not going to become a thing.)
3 (mainly-Scottish dialect for "small child;" see Wikipedia for "bairn")
4 The bud in the background of that photo dropped without opening, so there is no third bloom to consider.
5 Though she may be more famous for the gold bikini. Which is a conversation I do not wish to have right now.
6 Oh yeah -- I've started looking to TV Tropes lately: their category titles are frequently about the right length and level of familiarity to work well as seedling names.
7 'Cause you can only consider just so many names about snow, ice, fog, and clouds. White names are both easy (lots of different water-related things that are white, and each water-related thing has a bunch of names and idioms that go along with it) and hard (just not that many white things that aren't about water on one level or another).

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Anthurium nos. 1304, 1691, 1480, 1353, and 1167

Another five seedlings today; I really like a couple of them even though they're not doing anything new.

Anthurium no. 1304 "Chanaile Solitaire"

Except for not knowing how to pronounce the name,1 this one is great. The spathes are large and lie more or less flat, and although the spathe color isn't unusual, the spadices are sort of orange when the spathe first opens. Which is a little bit new, though Chanaile's sibling 1224 Perry Watkins appears to have done it first.

The leaves are okay also. More or less free of thrips damage. I'm not a huge fan of the matte(-ish) texture, but I'm willing to trade a lot of qualities if it gets me thrips resistance.

And the new leaves may not be bright red or deep brown like some seedlings, but olive green is still acceptable.

The spathes do have a bit of thrips damage from time to time, but Chanaile is great, taken as a whole. I mean, the orange spadices alone would be interesting; the rest is a bonus.

So we're keeping her.

Chanaile is from sibling group DV (seed parent: NOID red), which also gave us 1299 Sinthia D Meanor.

Anthurium no. 1691 "Madison Hinton"

Madison's inflorescence isn't particularly impressive. I mean, it's fine, initially,

but the spathe flips backwards really severely as it matures, which makes it sort of useless to me. The foliage could be interesting -- it's at least got a very serious texture --

but the plant as a whole isn't doing much for me.

The most interesting thing about Madison is her seed parent: she's the second seedling from 0031 Sylvester to bloom,2 and the first of Sylvester's kids to make orange spathes. Which is something, but it's probably not going to keep her out of the landfill in the long run.

Anthurium no. 1480 "Lady Angelique"

Lady Angelique is another seedling notable more for her origin than anything she's doing on her own: she's another one from 0041 Anna Graham.3

She does have Anna's tendency toward tall, narrow spathes, and I suppose technically they're both pink (though Anna's pink was more interesting), but that's about it. The foliage is kind of distorted; I don't know whether this is from thrips or mechanical damage.

So probably not keeping Lady Angelique around for much longer either. Even if the execution were perfect, she's still just another pink/pink.

Anthurium no. 1353 "Krystal Stone"

Speaking of which.

This is, admittedly, a more photogenic pink than Lady Angelique. And while the leaves have some thrips scarring,

there are at least a lot of them. That's a really full-looking plant, for only a 3-inch (7.6 cm) pot.

Without the thrips damage, this could be worth keeping around. I think I lean toward waiting to see what the second bloom looks like.

Krystal's seed parent was 0273 Wes Coast, whose offspring I discussed in the post for 1356 Regina Cartier. There, I said that although Wes was pink/pink, none of his surviving seedlings had been pink/pink. And now that isn't true anymore.

Anthurium no. 1167 "Lucy Balls"

Finally, there's Lucy, who is the sibling of 1153 Tintim and 1256 Mr. Completely and is actually really nice:

I mean, I suppose "really nice" is debatable. But the color combination pleases me, and the general shape and proportions of the spathe are fine. The leaves and spathes both have some thrips damage,

and the stem is leggier than I'd like,

but it photographs reasonably well, and looks better in person.

There have been similar color combinations before, but when I went looking through the gallery to see which ones they were, I noticed that most (all?) of them have died or been discarded. So I'm inclined to keep Lucy for the sake of completeness, if nothing else.

I also have some more hummingbirds to show you, and don't feel like making a separate post for them, so I'm going to throw them here.

I already had a hummingbird/corn tassels picture, but this one shows off the green iridescence better:

And this was decently in focus so why not:

Finally, on 31 August, I went out with Sheba in the morning and noticed that there were multiple hummingbirds. Which hadn't happened before. After the earlier post, I had spent some time reading about ruby-throated hummingbirds on-line, and one of the things that all the sources emphasized was how territorial they were, so I figured I would only ever get to see one at a time. But on Friday, I'm certain that we had three at once, and I'm even pretty sure there were four. They didn't stand still long enough for good multiple-bird pictures -- mostly it looked like there was a dispute about who owned the Cannas, so they spent most of their time chasing one another away -- but I did get blurry evidence of at least two at the same time.

So now I'm obsessed with hummingbirds.

Less photogenic, but -- I've been surprised by the number of bumblebees this year. We've seen them occasionally in previous years, but this year they're all over the place.

It's surprised me, because I was under the impression that bumblebees barely even recognized red flowers as flowers; I thought they were very particular about blues and purples. I've personally never detected a scent from our Cannas, but maybe there is one? Or maybe I was just misinformed, and bumblebees are happy to take nectar from red flowers? There are lots of species of bumblebee, so maybe the purple-flower thing only applies to some of them. I don't know. In any case, seeing all the bumblebees feels good too.


1 Taken from a real (but deceased) performer; I imagine there is probably a video out there somewhere which includes a pronunciation, but it turns out that I don't actually care that much how to pronounce it since I'm probably never going to have to say the name aloud.
2 (The first was Madison's sibling 1685 Betty Bowers.)
3 (The first being 1317 Calpernia Addams.)

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Anthurium no. 1453 "Amber Marie"

Back in 2015, I was considering the idea that "Amber" was just inherently an unlucky name for Anthurium seedlings, following the disappointing 0558 Amber Waves and 0532 Amber Alert, but apparently when it comes to Ambers, third time's the charm.

Not that she doesn't have problems. That's quite a bit of thrips damage. And also it's extremely visible thrips damage. But. Purple spathes are uncommon and therefore a big deal, and the foliage is surprisingly nice, considering the spathes -- apparently the leaves are resistant to thrips in ways that the spathes can't be -- and I still like to imagine that a day will come when the thrips are no longer a problem. So she's worth keeping. Or, she's worth keeping for as long as I can maintain the hope of a thripsless future.

She's filled in a bit in the almost-14-months since the photo was taken, but even back then, there were a fair number of leaves, and the leaves were of good size.

She's since been promoted to a 6-inch pot, which may or may not be why she's blooming more frequently and consistently. (For a while there, she was producing a lot of buds, but then they'd drop before the inflorescence had much of a chance to develop.)

Given the option, my preference would be for a much darker purple, along the lines of 0802 Dana International, but lavender is fine. Whatever shade of purple we can get in the second generation is something to build upon in the third.

Amber's seed parent was 0234 Ross Koz, who has produced a lot of interesting and good seedlings, in a surprisingly large spectrum of colors: 0805 Triana Hill, 0808 Kent C. Forshette, 0811 Alma Children, 0813 Arya Reddy, 1037 Sister Irma Geddon, 1038 Adlai Lowe,1 1158 Joey Arias, 1344 Boeff Stroganoff, 1709 Jinkx Monsoon. Ross is himself kind of leggy, and not much inclined to form suckers, but there are apparently some good genes in there anyway.

We'll see an even more unusual seedling from Ross in about a week.


1 Whose recent blooms have been big improvements on the first one:
I mean, yeah, that thrips damage is pretty horrific. But if you remember Adlai's first inflorescence, you'll agree that that's a lot better.