Sunday, July 23, 2017

Anthurium no. 0788 "Owen McCord"

I mentioned at the end of the last post that 0788 was, like, 0728 Sister Dimension, one of the seedlings from 0273 Wes Coast. Wes was a pink/pink without a lot of notable qualities: the most interesting thing about him was that the pink was unusually vivid, in that unphotographable way that seedlings sometimes just glow. (Even then, it didn't happen with every bloom, so I'm not sure what I was actually seeing.) Wes's seedlings, on the other hand, always had two things: huge leaves, and scale. 52 seedlings, of which only 5 have survived (10%); more than half (30 of 52, or 58%) were thrown out due to scale infestation. Not very promising territory in which to be looking for awesome seedlings. And yet:

And it's not that we've never seen an orange/orange before; there are several.1 However, Owen is, I think, the first seedling to do both orange/orange and orange/yellow:

Not sure which he prefers; so far I've only seen one bloom of each. The orange/orange is most recent, so odds are that's the "real" color, if there's a real color.

But that's not even the best part. I mean, I like the orange blooms, but the main story in Owen's case is actually the foliage. Not many individual leaves,

but they're huge, and vary considerably in color as they age. True, they end up at the same boring green as most Anthurium seedlings:

But they get there through a pretty colorful progression, from red through brown and olive:

I feel like this would be awfully pretty in a mass planting, should there ever be enough of them for a mass planting, in a place where they could survive being outside.

Which is getting pretty hypothetical since so far there's just the one plant and it's in Iowa, but we can still imagine.

In any case. Really happy with Owen. He's developed kind of a sideways lean in the last few months; probably at least some of that's because he's been growing towards light, as plants do.2 Hopefully that will be fixable if/when he's promoted to a 6-inch pot.

Definite keeper, not even a question. The next seedling up is a much more difficult decision.


1 Though mostly they're the same seedling under different names, or close relatives thereof: 0115 Erlene Adopter, 0580 Marsha Marsha Marsha, 0581 Adam All, and 0586 Vera Special are all divisions from the same original plant, all with interchangeable orange/orange blooms and the same peculiar tendency to yellow along the leaf veins; I still don't understand why that happens, or whether it's a bad thing.
Then there's 0120 Eliza Boutisecksis, the half-sibling of the Erlenes, and 1727 Mercedes Sulay, daughter of one of the Erlenes.
Other seedlings sort of lean toward orange/orange blooms, but are too red (e.g. 0116 Eileen Dover), green (0330 Faye Quinette), pink (0813 Arya Reddy), or pale (0317 Dred) for me to consider them fully orange/orange.
2 He has totally adequate overhead light, and no reason to need to move in on another shelf's lighting, but the problem is that his own shelf is pretty crowded, and the adjacent shelf is full of short germination containers that don't obstruct their light at all. So the light looks better to the side, and we get a lean.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Anthurium no. 1265 "Inez Paloma"

Inez is surprisingly wonderful. "Wonderful" is, of course, always something of a surprise, but even more surprising is that she's got a white spathe, and I'm not ordinarily that excited about white flowers. But what with 290A Lady Of The Assumption winning Best New Non-Orange and Best New Seedling this year, and now Inez, I'm having to rethink my position on white flowers. Maybe sometimes they're not so bad.

This isn't the first white seedling from the Anthuriums, but it's only the third genuinely white white,1 and it's the first blistered white.2 Which is not that exciting, except that I didn't start out with any blistered whites, and I'm pretty much counting it as a win anytime I get a seedling to do something that the ancestral group didn't do. Which has happened a surprising number of times, now.

Also worth noting that the spathe shape is nice. Or at least interesting. (I think it reads as sort of a bouffant, but maybe that's just me.)

Inez also has surprisingly decent foliage,

and produces lots of suckers, so the plant is nicely full and robust-looking:

She's even producing a decent number of blooms: I think she's on number three now, and she only started in April.3

There's just one thing not to like about Inez, and unfortunately it's substantial: the thrips. They seem to leave the foliage more or less alone (a nip here and there, but it's not to the point of heavily distorting the foliage or leaving lots of giant ugly scars, like happens with some other seedlings), and don't actually seem to be that big of a problem on the spathes, really, but the spathes are such a pure, snowy white that even the tiniest pinprick of damage is visible.

I mean, there are worse things, and Inez has so many other nice qualities that I don't think it's worth getting hung up about this particular shortcoming. In principle, thrips can be eradicated,4 so in a way, her one problem isn't even that much of a problem.

1265 Inez Paloma's seed parent was 'Pandola,' a large, blistered, pink/orange or pink/pink.5 So maybe the cross was 'Pandola' x 'White Gemini?'

Next up, we've got another seedling from 0273 Wes Coast (the previous one being 0728 Sister Dimension). Wes was not a great seedling, and most of his offspring were discarded because they were unusually prone to scale, but I've been pretty pleased with the survivors.


1 (After 1095 Carolina Pineforest and 0648 Bianca Del Rio)
2 Though 1268 Li'l Miss Hot Mess might argue the point, I don't count her as white white because the spathes have (so far) all had green "ears," as well as an overall faint greenish cast to the spathe.
3 First bud on 1 March 2017, and then the spathe was open in the first week of April. Inez is either on bloom #3, and they last a normal amount of time for Anthuriums, or she's on bloom #2, and they last an exceptionally long time. Not sure which.
4 I mean, it seems not to work that way in reality, but I know individual thrips can be killed, and it's not a huge logical leap from killing individual thrips to killing all the individual thrips.
5 'Pandola' was unusually variable, for a named cultivar. The spathes were always pretty big, but the spathes ranged from red to pink, and the spadices were orange, yellow, or pink, often all three at different times on the same inflorescence.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The 2016-17 Schlummies

Let's begin with the awards for returning seedlings.

Most Improved Returning Seedling (2014-15 season)

The improvement in this category is mostly the result of the seedlings being moved around this year; all five of the nominees ended up with better (stronger) light. And 084A Downward-Facing Dog was so bad to begin with that you'd think it'd get an easy win here, but then 064A Rose Hoses goes and comes up with a stronger, prettier, more interesting coloration, while Downward-Facing Dog just does the same thing it did before, except a little less sloppily.

Should also point out that not only did 019A Belevenissen have a good year, it was still blooming as late as late June. Some of the house's other Schlumbergeras were still budding, but only Belevenissen was actually completing the blooms.

010A Semantic Satiation

019A Belevenissen

054A Helpful Gesture

064A Rose Hoses

084A Downward-Facing Dog

Most Improved Returning Seedling (2015-16)

Again, most of the improvement was because of a change in location, but in this case several seedlings looked a lot better as well. 067A Cyndi Lauper showed her true colors.1 208A Raspberry Possum also developed more complicated coloration. The weirdest one was 089A Halloween Moon, which was orange/white last year, and remained orange/white this year, but the color was just more vivid. I can't quite explain it: every so often a seedling just seems to glow, in a way that doesn't translate to photographs, and this year was Halloween Moon's turn. Though of course Cyndi still won, because she was gorgeous and floriferous.

033A Clueless

067A Cyndi Lauper

075A Pushover

089A Halloween Moon

208A Raspberry Possum

Best Overall Returning Seedling (2014-15)

The good seedlings from past years were good again; no big surprises. This came down to a decision between 057A Pyrotechnic and 064A Rose Hoses, the former because it just went bananas blooming this year, and the latter because of the changed/improved color and the quantity of blooms. I kind of wanted to give the Schlummy to Pyrotechnic, but Rose Hoses was just that amazing.

023A Stoked

026A Brick Wall

057A Pyrotechnic

064A Rose Hoses

079A Yayoi Kusama

Best Overall Returning Seedling (2015-16)

I'd really been hoping for 106A Jaws of Elmo and 107A Nova Prospekt to step up their game this year and give me lots of really pretty flowers. And they did improve, but not enough -- I should probably find them better locations for 2017-18. 018A Nudibranch has been reliable so far -- lots of good blooms, not a lot of thrips damage -- but it's a little boring, colorwise. And 217A Blood Frenzy, as I've noted previously, has always produced blooms of different colors, and this year it was that much older, and able to produce that many more.

But this year belonged to 067A Cyndi Lauper.

018A Nudibranch

067A Cyndi Lauper

106A Jaws of Elmo

107A Nova Prospekt

217A Blood Frenzy

Most Floriferous New Seedling (2016-17)

And now we're talking about this year's seedlings.

The really heavy first-time bloomers fell into one of two categories: either they lucked into a good window spot, like 283A Migaloo and 290A Our Lady Of Assumption, or they were in the basement until the middle of the season, and had a bunch of pent-up blooming energy to release all at once, like 094A Some Clowns, 096A I'm Really Sorry, and 097A Ladybug Ladybug. Going solely by the number of flowers produced, it wasn't much of a contest -- 096A I'm Really Sorry got an easy win. (Now if I could only do something about the thrips. . . .)

094A Some Clowns

096A I'm Really Sorry

097A Ladybug Ladybug

283A Migaloo

290A Our Lady Of Assumption

Best New Orange Seedling (2016-17)

We finally started seeing some different colors this year, but there were still a lot of oranges, and although a lot of them were good in terms of being an unusual shade of orange, producing an unusual number of blooms, or having an unusual shape, none of them were the full package. 042A Mary Tyler Moore, 202A Joan Didion, 215A Oriole Allure, and 239A Plow The Seashore each only produced one or two blooms, which is arguably not even enough information for judging a seedling as good or bad. So it kinda goes to 096A I'm Really Sorry by default.

Honorable mention to 011A Annie Lennox, which had good strong color but was just a little too ragged to be a finalist.

042A Mary Tyler Moore

096A I'm Really Sorry

202A Joan Didion

215A Oriole Allure

239A Plow the Seashore

Best New Non-Orange Seedling (2016-17)

Competition for Best New Non-Orange is substantial, though: besides the reds we've had in previous years, this year we have whites and magentas too. Both the whites and the magentas had the problem of looking more or less exactly like the parent plants: they're not really new, and I don't actually like white Schlumbergeras so much. Still, I can't deny that some of them looked good, bloomed hard, and photographed well.

Of the three white seedlings, 283A Migaloo photographed worst, and the hint of pink at the center of 290A Our Lady Of Assumption made it a little less boring than 193A Arcade Gannon. And 281A No Bad Vibez was basically the same as the parent magenta. So it was a decision between 089B Haunted Houseboat and 290 Our Lady Of Assumption, and while I suspect the actual, real-life flowers were better on Haunted Houseboat, the photos were a lot better on Our Lady Of Assumption, and it bloomed better than Haunted Houseboat. So the Schlummy goes to Our Lady Of Assumption, but just barely.

089B Haunted Houseboat

193A Arcade Gannon

281A No Bad Vibez

283A Migaloo

290A Our Lady Of Assumption

Best New Color Combination (2016-17)

Viable candidates for this award almost completely overlap with the previous award, but the reds are excluded here because there were reds in previous years. This year, the only new colors were white/white, white/pink, and magenta/white. The reasoning plays out similarly to Best New Non-Orange, but I wound up choosing 132A Pointy Space Princess because it seems to be slightly pinker than the other magentas. Or at least it photographs that way: I never had a good opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison to confirm.

132A Pointy Space Princess

193A Arcade Gannon

281A No Bad Vibez

283A Migaloo

290A Our Lady Of Assumption

Best New Name (2016-17)

290A Our Lady Of Assumption tickles me every time I see it in a spreadsheet, because it's just so perfect for the person its meant to refer to. And the posts for 135A Chiune Sugihara and 201A Maharaurava were occasions when I learned something I found really neat.2 127A Cooperating Banjos and 132A Pointy Space Princess are both pop cultural things with a twist, and also both amuse me.

Can't really explain why, but I'm going with Cooperating Banjos.

127A Cooperating Banjos

132A Pointy Space Princess

135A Chiune Sugihara

201A Maharaurava

290A Our Lady Of Assumption

Best Overall New Seedling (2016-17)

Best Overall was an easy decision last time, because 079A Yayoi Kusama was just that much better than the others.3 This year, there were a few standouts, sure, but it was unexpectedly difficult to reduce the full list of 51 eligible seedlings4 to five nominees; I feel particularly bad about having to give up 244A That's My Purse and 271A Not Here To Make Friends, because they were both neat (color and thrips resistance in the first case, parentage and shape in the second).

096A I'm Really Sorry could maybe have won if it had been a little bit less damaged by the thrips, and 192A Oney Judge might have won had it made more blooms, or the same number of blooms spread out over a longer period.

The remaining three seedlings all bloomed a lot, photographed pretty well, and were new color combinations this year. I would never have imagined that the award would go to a white seedling, but looking at the three, 290A Our Lady Of Assumption really is the prettiest of the three. So.

096A I'm Really Sorry

192A Oney Judge

193A Arcade Gannon

281A No Bad Vibez

290A Our Lady Of Assumption

What might we have to look forward to next year? Well, we should -- if I can find places for them in the plant room -- get to see a lot more second-generation seedlings. Seedlings of 026A Brick Wall, 088A Cyborg Unicorn, and 082A Strawberry Madeleine will all be mature enough to bloom (one of them was already budding, a month or so ago). Those may or may not be interesting, but there was more diversity than expected among this year's offspring of 025A Clownfish, so we can hope for surprises.

Besides that, there will be more offspring of the NOID magenta. Maybe a few of them won't be white or magenta, but some other, entirely different, third color. That'd be exciting, right? (Unless it's orange?)

Possibly more of the x buckleyi seedlings will bloom, too, though I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

There will almost certainly be offspring from a few named seed parents: the NOID yellow (I am intensely curious about the NOID yellow's children and what they might look like), 'Exotic Dancer,' and 'Stephanie.' The latter two are similar to colors I've got already but who knows, they might surprise us. Next year is probably going to be the year we find out the full range of colors I can get from the Schlumbergeras, whether that range is very broad or very narrow.5

Despite all her prizes, 290A Our Lady Of Assumption is probably not going to figure in the breeding very much,6 but I'm interested in what I might be able to do with a lot of the others from this year (especially 089B Haunted Houseboat, 202A Joan Didion, 244A That's My Purse, and 271A Not Here To Make Friends).


1 Sorry. Couldn't resist.
2 Honorable mention to 192A Oney Judge, who I also really liked learning about, but I figured it was probably best to restrict myself to a single real person's name, and I just love Sugihara's story so much.
3 And is still really good, by the way.
4 All eligible seedlings:
009A Personal Reasons
011A Annie Lennox
020A Feet Of Clay
042A Mary Tyler Moore
058C Consternation
062A Open World
067B Clyde
069A Sweetie Darling
070A Delia Webster
077B Bad Reputation
077C Flickering
080A Nichelle Nichols
089B Haunted Houseboat
092B Dorothy Parker
094A Some Clowns
096A I'm Really Sorry
097A Ladybug Ladybug
101A Julius Erving
104A Needs Practice
119A There Would Be Peace
120A Barbara Jordan
127A Cooperating Banjos
128A Sloths Arrive Late
132A Pointy Space Princess
133A Fading Commotion
135A Chiune Sugihara
165A Assertive
167A East Of East St. Louis
176A The Quality Of Mercy
178A Lulu's Night Off
180A Miss Emma
181A Margaret Atwood
182A Padparadscha
190A Snezhana
192A Oney Judge
193A Arcade Gannon
198A Prophecy Of Joy
199A Dusty Springfield
201A Maharaurava
202A Joan Didion
203A Dolly Parton
211A Bruce Lee
215A Oriole Allure
220A Lucille Ball
239A Plow The Seashore
240A Schwa
244A That's My Purse
271A Not Here To Make Friends
281A No Bad Vibez
283A Migaloo
290A Our Lady Of Assumption
5 Based on the results so far, I'm guessing that the colors are either going to be exclusively the same as the parent varieties, or overwhelmingly the same.
A nice yellow/pink or yellow/white would please me enormously, though, as would a decent pink/pink, pink/white, or lavender/white. I'd be pretty happy about a flower with a significantly different shape, too, as far as that goes.
6 As I've previously mentioned, white is genetically dominant. No point breeding a plant when you know that its seedlings are all going to look the same as the parent.