Saturday, March 14, 2015

Anthuriums 0279 and 0594

I've been spending a lot of time lately trying to get the Anthurium-seedling-related spreadsheets whipped into some kind of order,1 I have a lot of photos that need to be sorted through, and next weekend is the orchid show, so the daily posts will have to stop being daily for a while. So you've been warned.

Today's post is about #0279 "Tristan Shout" and #0594 "Charity Case," which began blooming at basically the same time, and have produced basically identical flowers.

Left/top: #0279 "Tristan Shout." Right/bottom: #0594 "Charity Case."

This is turning out to be the year of the LPA (Little Pink Anthurium). Nothing wrong with 'em, and Charity even did something barely interesting as the first bloom was dying, in that the spadix turned an unexpectedly dark purple:

I mean, we could argue about whether this nearly-dead bloom is attractive overall, but that is certainly a purple spadix.

Both Tristan and Charity are unexpectedly floriferous; Charity's first bud opened on January 26, and she already had a second bud going by January 30 (which had itself opened by March 11). Tristan's first bud opened on January 30, and there was a second bud in development by February 27. So they're good plants, and probably also genetically identical (#0594 was divided from #0279 last June). But did they have to be pink, is all.

Again, left/top: #0279 "Tristan Shout." Right/bottom: #0594 "Charity Case." Photo is just after Tristan opened.

Both of them are pink / pink when open, and light pink / purple about 2-4 weeks later.

#0279 "Tristan Shout," about 1 month after opening.

The spathes are tiny, as well: nowhere is the "little" in "little pink anthuriums" more deserved. That's something that might change as the plants mature, but at least for the moment, all three blooms have been 1.5 inches wide and 1.7 inches tall (3.8 x 4.3 cm). I suppose I admire the consistency?

#0594 "Charity Case," second bloom, just after opening.

The blooms are also not very long-lasting, though since only one has actually died so far (after about a month), it's probably too early to be sure about that.

The leaves are okay, I guess. Not especially attractive. Tristan's leaves have had some problems --

-- but he seems to have mostly grown out of that. Mostly the leaves are ordinary and sort of matte green, like this one of Charity's:

Keepers? Well, I might keep one or the other. The purple spadix and (so far) small plant size makes me suspect that they're 'White Gemini' x NOID purple, so it might be worthwhile to have one around for breeding purposes. Haven't decided yet. But the other, I'll probably have up for sale at some point. Can't keep 'em all.


1 In particular, I've noticed that certain sibling groups -- seeds sown at more or less the same time, from the same seed parent -- do a lot more blooming than others, or are much more likely to die than others, or etc., and so I've been trying to work out how many such groups I have (71) and what they're like, in general. So far, the only practical effect of having this information is that now when a seedling dies, gets potted up, or produces a bud for the first time, I have, like, three times as many spreadsheets / notebooks / etc. to record that information in: I had three new buds and eight deaths on Wednesday and it took me, no kidding, two hours to deal with all the bureaucracy.
I agree that this is ridiculous, but with 1057 seedlings to date, 762 of which are still alive, there's no way I'm going to be able to remember it all in my head, and since I don't really know what information will be important in the long run, a certain amount of unnecessary record-keeping seems warranted.

Each one of the above squares represents a seedling that existed at one time or another:a gray squares are dead plants, green squares are living but haven't bloomed, hot pink squares are living and have bloomed, and the sort of lavender-looking squares have buds in progress.
       a (actually number 0388 represents two seedlings, because in early January 2014, as I was potting up a new batch, I started numbering from the wrong number, but both of the 388s are dead so it doesn't really matter)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pretty picture: Paphiopedilum malipoense

This particular species has only appeared on the blog once (2012), but there have been lots of its hybrids around:

Paphiopedilum Lynleigh Koopowitz
Paphiopedilum Norito Hasegawa
Paphiopedilum Jade Dragon (possibly; the identity of the plant in that photo is uncertain, though it sure looks a lot like P. malipoense)
Paphiopedilum Memoria Larry Heuer
Paphiopedilum Bit-O'-Sunshine x Paphiopedilum William Sanders x Paphiopedilum malipoense

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Anthuriums no. 0083, 0555 and 0556

Anthurium no. 0555 "Mystique Summers Madison" bloomed quite a bit earlier than Anthurium no. 0556 "Frank Lee Grande," but they're both divisions from #0083 "Carmen Adairya," and it looks like they are probably even clones of Carmen.1

Mystique bloomed first:

This was pleasant enough, I guess. I was a little disappointed about the amount of thrips damage,2 but the pale pink color, combined with the light yellow-orange spadix, was nice enough. (I'd only seen that combination of colors once previously, on #0214 "Anita Knapp," who also had a lot of thrips damage.3)

Frank followed about three weeks later, and I was initially excited because the spathe looked like it was going to be less chewed up:

but by the time it actually opened, it was worse than Mystique's:

Since these photos were taken, Mystique's spadix has darkened, and she's now a pink / pink; it remains to be seen what Frank will do, but I'm expecting the same. I don't know if I'll ever be able to say for certain, but it looks to me like both were probably suckers of #0083 "Carmen Adairya," and consequently all three plants are clones of one another. Here's the side-by-side comparison:

Top: #0083 "Carmen Adairya." Middle: #0555 "Mystique Summers Madison." Bottom: #0556 "Frank Lee Grande."

Making allowances for the fact that the blooms were photographed at different ages, I'd say they're similar enough to be plausible as clones. If they're merely siblings, well, they're freakishly similar siblings.

If I could just do something about the thrips, they'd all be very pretty plants. Carmen has photographed really beautifully before. Just need to figure out something to do that won't freak all the plants out.


1 When I divided some of the plants last April, I couldn't distinguish easily between multiple seedlings planted together in the same pot, and single individuals that just produced lots of baby plants ("suckers") from the original stem. Older varieties of Anthurium were somewhat selected for high suckering, to make mass-production easier, but now tissue culture can give you as many identical plants as you want without having to wait for the parent plant to produce suckers, so nobody cares whether plants sucker or not.
Which means that some of my seedlings sucker a bunch, and some of them sucker hardly at all, and it can be difficult to tell which is which, even if I take the time to brush away the dirt and see how they're connected to one another. (Suckers arise from the roots, not from the stem, so a sucker can look a lot like a small seedling that's just happened to grab onto the roots of another, larger plant.)
Even when they're not suckers, the way I do things here means that plants from the same original pot are probably from the same cross, so they should have a family resemblance whether they're identical or not. Which makes it that much tougher to determine whether they're suckers / clones or just siblings.
2 Supposedly thrips prefer yellow blooms and plant parts, but the ones around here seem more inclined to go for light pink, the lighter the better. Though as far as I can recall, I've never had any problem with them on "White Gemini," which is actually white. Possibly it's spared because it's in a different part of the house.
I don't think it's just a matter of the lighter colors showing damage better, though I suppose it could be. Haven't really done a formal survey of the pictures.
3 #0214 "Anita Knapp:"

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Anthurium no. 0329 "Gladys Panzarov"

And the award for Best New Bloom, 2014-15 Season, goes to. . . .

Gladys makes me happy. First and foremost, she's orange, which is praiseworthy all on its own, as previously discussed. But then also I enjoy the name, and the foliage is pretty interesting as well:

(How is that interesting? Well, it's unusually lumpy, for one -- the main veins radiating away from the point of attachement of the petiole are slightly sunken, compared to the rest of the leaf, giving it a slightly "quilted" appearance. Which the photo doesn't show terribly well, so if you don't see it, don't worry about it.)

Gladys is also, I think, the only seedling so far that I've moved up to a 6-inch pot before seeing what the bloom looked like, based only on the color of the bud and the nice leaves.

If I have any complaints about Gladys so far -- and I'm not sure that I do -- it'd be that the particular shade of orange is a little more to the red side than I would like. When the spathe first opened, it was only clear that she was orange instead of red by comparison to a red-blooming plant nearby (#0282 "Dave Trading"). This seems to be getting better as she ages, though; I haven't taken a new batch of photos lately, so I can't confirm this yet, but it looks like she's going from red-orange to a lighter orange.

Also thrips-resistant so far, which is a pretty big deal. (Yes, the thrips are definitely back; they never went away. The question before me now is whether to try again with the oil, and risk massive bloom / bud drop happening a second time, or live with the thrips and try to find some other way to control them. Both options strike me as pretty terrible.)

The reader may see a resemblance to #0031 "Sylvester," which was also orange with a white/beige spathe, but Sylvester's spathe is much smaller and more upright, like a "tulip" Anthurium.1 And the color was a lot lighter.

Seedling no. 0031 "Sylvester."

Obviously the dream would be to cross Gladys and Sylvester and get tons of orange seedlings, but that's not to be. Or at least it's not to be now: Sylvester hasn't bloomed since last September. Someday, perhaps.


1 Which is a thing. "Standard" Anthuriums have the big, flat, heart-shaped spathes with the spadix sticking out from it, like 'Florida:'

"Tulip" Anthuriums tend to have a larger number of small flowers, with flame-shaped spathes, and the spadix stays closer to and nearly parallel with the spathe, as with these NOIDs:

According to the Anthurium-breeding book, "tulip" types are favored for potted plants, while "standard" types are used more as cut flowers. That's possibly changed some in the 20 years since the book came out, plus there are newer shapes available now, like the weird Zantedeschia-esque thing the NOID green-pink is doing. Personally, my tastes run more toward the standards.

Also there doesn't seem to be a clear line between "standard" and "tulip;" some of the seedlings of mine have characteristics somewhere in between the two, like #0085 "Carson Trucks:"

And before you ask: no, I cannot explain why "tulip" Anthuriums are called that. I agree that they don't look like tulips. Keep in mind that these are the same people who think that light orange = "coral." When you're an Anthurium breeder, words can mean anything you want them to mean.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Anthurium no. 0565 "Myster E"

Myster E didn't photograph terribly well, but that's okay: you're not missing much. Just one more in a very long line of LPAs (Little Pink Anthuriums).

He doesn't have a lot going for him. The foliage is pretty crappy.

Some of that could be drought stress. I've had other seedlings do this sort of thing when younger and then grow out of it later on.

The only interesting thing is that Myster E, like several other seedlings, likes to flip his spathe back as the inflorescence develops.

Unlike most of the others, on him I think it actually kind of works. Or at least it was working at the time the above photo was taken; he got a little carried away later. Even then, though, the spathe was at least folded back in a more or less symmetrical manner, and was strong enough not to tear itself in the process. Which is something. I guess. Kinda.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Anthurium no. 0231 "Rhea Listick"

I have a lot of favorite Anthurium seedlings, depending on what particular detail I'm most focused on, but there's an argument to be made for Rhea as the best all-around seedling.1 Not only is the foliage nice, but the spathes are broad, flat, a good color, not prone to cracking, and seemingly resistant to thrips. She could maybe be a little more diligent about producing blooms, but this is a good seedling, and her most recent bloom has been, I'm pretty sure, the biggest and nicest yet.

Rhea's managed to produce eighteen seeds so far. I started eight of those in mid-December, and another ten at the beginning of January. I got 88% germination from the first batch, and 70% from the second, which makes 78% overall. At the moment, it looks like seven of those might be ready to pot up, though I'm probably not going to do that quite yet.2 I don't know whether I'll be potting up more than those seven plants; sometimes when I take the biggest seedlings out of a group, some of the ones that remain will have a growth spurt and be ready to pot up themselves,3 later, but sometimes slow, tiny, stunted plants remain slow, tiny, and stunted whether they're crowded or not.

This is the second batch of seedlings from #0231.

I'm always pretty limited here, as far as what I'm able to cross with what, because very few plants are ever shedding pollen at any given moment, but I'd really like to cross Rhea with a really dark red, in hopes of getting a dark purple bloom at some point down the road. It's possible that Anthurium genetics doesn't actually work like that, of course, and even if they did, it's possible that I wouldn't be lucky enough to get one like that on my first try. After all, a substantial number of seedlings die before I ever find out what sort of blooms they'd make, and even when they don't die, they don't always bloom.4

There's nothing special about the goal of a dark purple Anthurium (aside from, I've never seen one in person so it'd be novel). I've gotten plenty of neat results from the seedlings so far without having any specific goals, so it's not something I'm planning to work toward, exactly. It'd be fun if it happened, though.


1 Top five, at least.
2 The survival rate is better if I let seedlings get bigger before transplanting, though the real reason for waiting is that I don't have room for more seedlings until a few plants die or get sold or move to a different part of the house.
3 This has been particularly weird with the large batch of seeds from #0005 "Chad Michaels" in late August 2014: they were all sown on either the 25th or 28th of August, but they've matured and been potted up in five different waves (September 21, October 26, December 8, December 28, and February 19), as new sets of seedlings got big enough to transplant. Which is weird. It's as if they're taking turns.
(My guess is that the actual reason for this is not that they're polite, but that they're in competition with one another for light and water, and when the most successful seedlings are removed, that frees up space for a new set to be successful and grow quickly. But I think you'll agree that it's nicer to think of them as cooperating with one another to take turns.
4 I suppose it probably seems like I have a lot of Anthuriums blooming here. By comparison to the number of Anthuriums in the average Iowa home (zero, probably?), this is true, but by comparison to how many seeds I've started, it doesn't seem like a lot to me. I'll spare you the actual math, but my estimate (backed up by actual numbers when possible) is that for every 100 seeds I sow:
• 30 will fail to germinate,
• 10 or 11 will germinate but be too crappy-looking to transplant,
• 33 or 34 will germinate and transplant but die within three years of being sown,
• 16 will germinate, transplant, and survive but not even attempt to bloom within three years of being sown,
• 2 will germinate, transplant, survive, and attempt to bloom within 3 years but not actually bloom, leaving only . . .

• 8 plants that actually germinate, transplant, survive, and actually produce a bloom within three years.

For those who like graphs (and who doesn't like graphs?):

I mean, plus or minus a few, obviously, depending on the batch -- some groups of seeds have been much more successful than others -- but that's more or less it. Every blooming plant you see here is standing in for about twelve that didn't. Consequently, it'd be reasonable to think that the 18 seeds from Rhea might net me one or two flowers by 2018.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pretty picture: Tetratonia Dark Prince

Another new nothogenus from the orchid show. I like this, especially the patterning on the petals and sepals.

Aside from the ancestry information available on-line, I know nothing about this plant or nothogenus. No idea what they're like to grow.

Tetratonia Dark Prince = Broughtonia sanguinea x Tetramicra canaliculata (Ref.)