Saturday, August 26, 2017

Anthurium no. 1203 "Peaches West"

1203 Peaches West is another dark red seedling, and another seedling with short, squat spathes.1

Neither trait photographs particularly well; the camera tends to bring the dark reds to more of a medium, saturated red, and the spathes flip themselves back a little bit as they age, which makes it difficult to get a direct, face-on view of the shape. But you can kind of get a sense of the color by comparing it to another seedling, 1158 Joey Arias, which is a medium purple-red:

The inflorescences do have one significant thing going for them: they last a really long time. At least a couple months, likely much longer. So that's kind of exciting. And the dark red color is probably a red pigment being expressed at the same time as a light green, and I find that I really like blooms with some green in them -- bronzy oranges and browns, light green, that sort of thing. So I'm probably keeping Peaches around for breeding purposes. She's also doing some interesting stuff with the leaves: the undersides have some red pigment in the larger veins,

and the thrips damage isn't terrible (though it could be better).

On the bad side, the growth habit tends to be kind of floppy / viney.

So a mix of good and bad here, but good enough to keep.

Peaches is one of the DV seedlings, which I've made a point of noting because I get surprised by the DV seedlings every time I think about them; they're all so different from one another that it's hard to believe they're related.2

The real Peaches West is based in Denver, Colorado; mostly what I could find from a quick online search was about her regular job working in a LGBTQQ drop-in-space.3


1 Incidentally, if you wondered at all: 1268 Li'l Miss Hot Mess is now on her fourth or fifth bud, and every bloom so far has been more or less kidney-shaped, so I'm thinking that this means it's genetic and not environmental. Or at least a genetic cause is seeming a lot more likely. Which is kinda neat.
2 The only exceptions are 1203 Peaches West and 1220 Mario Montez, who are both dark red / yellow. All the other DV seedlings has had a distinct coloration so far, and there have been a lot of DV seedlings, so the diversity has been a neat surprise. Probably this points to multiple pollen parents, or maybe even multiple inflorescences -- the seed parent, the NOID red, often had multiple blooms simultaneously, so it wouldn't surprise me if the DV seedling group were all half-siblings of one another.
3 I'm not super familiar with the term "drop-in-space" (and kind of think it should be "drop-in space" anyway), but I gather they're basically community spaces for kids to go after school? Mostly in larger cities, though if I'm understanding their website correctly, Iowa City has one, so it must not be necessary to have a huge city.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Anthurium no. 0336 "Jeff Boyardee"

Underwhelmed by the eclipse on Monday. We didn't try for totality, but we did drive a ways south, to get an extra 1.8% of coverage, and I was surprised by how little difference it made, and how dark it didn't get. The 2024 eclipse will be close to us too; maybe it'd be worth driving to the zone of totality for that. Dunno. Considering how much hype there was leading up to Monday's eclipse, it could hardly help but be disappointing, I suppose, so I'm glad we had other stuff happening during the trip too.

I did find out the reason why one of our neighbors' trees turned brown abruptly in early July, and then in early August started to leaf out again (though only at the very top): Japanese beetles. They apparently like linden trees as much as they like Cannas. And of course there's no picking them off of a tree by hand, so I bet it makes no difference how many beetles I killed this year because the neighbors' yard is probably even more full of JB grubs than ours is, and they're all going to be mature beetles in ten or eleven months.

Anyway. So I suppose I should talk about Jeff. He's pretty similar to his brother 0339 Johnny Lufschachi: similar dark red, fairly narrow spathes,

dark, fairly unscarred foliage,

and a really strong desire to flip his spathes backward, which I don't have a photo of.

Jeff's a little more compact than Johnny was,

but there are plenty of seedlings that are better at what Jeff's doing, so he's almost certainly a discard. Might even be in the garbage by the time you read this, in fact.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Anthurium no. 1301 "Symphony Alexander-Love"

There have long been a group of seedlings that are pretty clearly pink in photographs, but somehow seem to be a little pinker than pink in person. It's hard to describe. I thought for a while that maybe they were slightly fluorescent, but that's been difficult to verify (no black lights handy at home, though we do have some purple LEDs that make certain objects in the kitchen fluoresce faintly). I'm still not sure. In any case. 0273 Wes Coast was one of those; 0721 Chandelier Divine Brown is red instead of pink, but also seemed that way for the first few blooms; 0758 Miles Long, Esquire is consistently that way so far. And now 1301 Symphony Alexander-Love is joining the club, at least sort of. No obvious genetic connection between them all, so it's a mystery for now.

Above is the first bloom Symphony produced, and although I was initially kinda meh, whatever, purplish-red, big deal, the odd inexplicable glow won me over eventually. The color actually got a bit more intense as the spadix aged. Five days after the above photo, the bloom looked like this:

So far, so cool, right? And then a second bud opened, and it looked really really ordinary:

Which was disappointing, but it turned more purple and more saturated as it aged, too. So it's been very up and down, emotionally, but it's interesting to have a seedling where the blooms' beauty peaks a while after they open. Usually the blooms are prettiest right after the spathe is fully unfurled, and they start declining immediately.

The foliage is also more interesting than it needs to be; the leaves are longer and narrower than average.

And the leaves aren't completely free of thrips damage, but they do a lot better job of dealing with it than 1300 Gia Sunflowers did.

She's even been doing some modest suckering already, as you can see. So when it was time to move up some of the three-inch seedlings, Symphony was one of the more obvious candidates. It'll be a while before I post about any of the others that got promoted,1 alas.

Symphony Alexander-Love is a Miss Gay Wisconsin USofA at Large, most recently, but has also won titles in Ohio and South Carolina (the full list is kind of exhausting, honestly). Her baton-twirling (in the talent portion of the Miss Gay Wisconsin 2013 pageant) is pretty cool, if you're the sort of person who enjoys watching drag queens twirl batons. But this video is really impressive:

Possibly I meant "exhausting." Maybe both. Anyway. So that's Symphony Alexander-Love.

A side note -- I'm starting to see buds on several of the Schlumbergeras. So far, they've been developing for a few weeks and then dropping off; no actual blooms yet. But they're getting close, and this is way too early to start. The last Schlumbergera season didn't even end until late June; I don't want to start the next one in August. . . .


1 Though if you want to see, you can check out the gallery; the other recent promotions are: 1419 Maya Douglas, 1541 Miss Bounce, 1592 Maliena B Itchcock, and 1634 Helena Handbag.
I also promoted two others even though they hadn't bloomed yet: 1357 Dayonna Hilton, because she's one of the few seedlings with 'Midori' as a parent, and 1747 Anaol Fetale, because 1) she'd budded once but then dropped the bud, 2) her leaves were ginormous and I was a little worried about her shading the other seedlings to death, and 3) she was pretty severely rootbound and really needed the larger pot.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Anthurium no. 1300 "Gia Sunflowers"

Some mixed feelings about the name for this one; using Latin names for cultivars is frowned upon, because of the potential to confuse people about the identity of the plant (if you see a "'Cuphea' Angelonia" in a catalog, for example, it's very easy to think it's a Cuphea rather than an Angelonia), and although these names aren't official cultivar names, just something to call them so that I can remember which seedling is which, and even though it should be totally obvious in any context that this isn't a sunflower, I still hesitate to use the name. It just feels . . . wrong.

But in any case. Gia Sunflowers is an actual drag queen from Atlanta, GA, and there are plenty of videos of her on YouTube if you're interested in seeing them; I'm not going to link or embed any because I didn't like the sound quality on any of them, but they're probably worth it with the sound off. The outfits are interesting.

As is the seedling. Gia's another one from the DV seedling group, which I last mentioned in the post for 1217 Charles Ludlam ("the least interesting of the DV seedlings;" pink/pink with unusually vivid new leaves) but there have been a few DV seedlings since then: 1209 Raven Samore Holiday (weird proportions, boring color), 1224 Perry Watkins (possible obake, slightly interesting colors), and of course 1299 Sinthia D Meanor (odd spathe shape, sort of tan and green, weirdest seedling ever). You wouldn't look at this group and think Gia was related to them, but here we are anyway.

So far, Gia hasn't made a great showing; the spathe color is interesting, and I like the contrasting spadix. There's even a hint that she might be another obake-type, though I had a terrible time trying to get the green to show up in photos at all:

You'd see it if you were here.

I mean, you wouldn't see it at the moment, because the bloom was disappointingly short-lived. But had you been in the right place at the right time, looking with the right optical equipment, you would totally have seen a tiny sliver of green. Mostly on the back of the spathe.

Gia bloomed at more or less the same time as her sibling, 1301 Symphony Alexander-Love. At the time I was more impressed with Gia, but it's Symphony who got promoted when I up-potted recently, mostly because Gia's thrips resistance is terrible.1

What a mess.

I intend to postpone the decision on Gia; it'd be nice to see a bigger bloom, or some thrips resistance, or even just a longer-lasting spathe. Basically any improvement at all, and I'd be happy to try keeping her around a while longer. We'll see if she can do it.


1 In addition to the short-lived blooms. Symphony's the next seedling in line for a post, so you'll soon see just how much better she does than her sister at . . . basically everything. Even the color's grown on me, though I thought it was kind of boring at first.