Monday, December 29, 2014

Pretty picture: Vanda Pakchong Blue

We've seen this variety before, pretty consistently from year to year, even (2010, 2011, and maybe 2012), which makes me wonder if it's not just the same plant coming back over and over.

I mean, the only other explanation that would make sense would be that maybe there are just a lot of them out there. But I've only ever seen one per year at the show. So it's probably the same plant over and over.

Vanda Pakchong Blue = Vanda Doctor Anek x Vanda coerulea (Ref.)

Other news: I'll have two more Schlumbergera-bloom posts eventually (021 and 083, and you will definitely want to see 083: it's the best Schlumbergera seedling to date) for sure, and possibly several more (008, 012?, 019, 023, 027, 028, 030, 031, 061, 078, 084, 088) if buds don't drop first.

Anthurium #334 "Jean Poole" is developing nicely but has still not opened yet.

The other three new Anthurium buds (#132 "Eve Stropper," #241 "Megan Gigaterra," and #259 "Tasha Salad") are all still doing okay, but are so far from being ready to open that I'm trying not to get too excited. There's a first-ever bud on #594 ("Charity Case") as well. (Light to medium pink so far: nothing too exciting.)

First-generation berries: Anthurium 'Joli' (medium-sized, lavender to hot pink to orange-red) has in fact been pollinated. Still can't tell about 'Florida.' (huge, orange) Should have seeds to sow from 'Midori' (large, green) just any day now, as well as six spadices' worth of seeds from 'Pandola.' (large, pink)

Second-generation berries: nothing much on the horizon at the moment save for #203 "Anna Mae Hemensouz" (medium, dark red) and #231 "Rhea Listick" (medium, purple-pink). #234 "Ross Koz" (medium, purple-pink) has some berries forming but it seems like I've been waiting on them forever; ditto for #245 "Sawyer Ad" (medium-large, red) and #276 "Zach Religious" (medium-large, pink/red). I'm getting ready to move another set of seedlings into 3-inch pots soon, to make more room to start seeds, so expect the plant census to make another big jump. I could well wind up with 2000 by the end of 2015, if this sort of thing keeps up.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pretty pictures: Paphiopedilum gratrixianum

For some reason, I have this one marked as the third of my four favorite orchids from this year's show.1 I still like it, and I guess the photos came out well enough, but I don't think I'd rate it quite as highly if I were doing the top 4 list over again. I like the colors a lot; not sure how I feel about the shape.

Paphiopedilum gratrixianum is found "from Laos to Vietnam," according to Wikipedia.


1 The first was Laeliocattleya Natrisiri, or whatever it's called, which was posted in August, and the second was Cattlianthe Mary Elizabeth Bohn, which we saw in September. You'll have to wait until March 2 to see the fourth one.)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Anthurium news

As promised, here is the first bloom from Anthurium seedling 040 ("Ivy Winters"):

(on November 27)

(on December 17)

It's not amazing, I know, but it actually is slightly special, in that usually the pink-blooming plants have matching spathes and spadices, and this one doesn't. Which is something. I'm a little surprised that it's pink at all, actually: the seed parent was the ambiguously orangish-pink 'Orange Hot,' and the first buds (the ones that later aborted) started out pink and turn a bit coral as they aged. I figured that meant that Ivy was going to wind up coral or orange, but it looks more like 'Gemini' (red-pink with a white spadix) than anything else, and the current bud is the same red-pink:

Ivy also has unusually long, narrow leaves. Not record-setting or anything, but it does stand out a little.

The second generation of seedlings is solidly underway, and even accelerating, now.1 Some of the earliest second-generation seedlings are big enough to look like actual little plants already.

#690 "Sister Kitty Catalyst"
seed parent: #239 "Russ Teanale"
sow date: 25 August 2014 (4 months old)

#721 "Chandelier Divine Brown"
seed parent: #005 "Chad Michaels"
sow date: 25 August 2014 (4 months old)

#682 "Tallulah Bunkbed"
seed parent: #271 "Wanda Reulthemal"
sow date: 21 July 2014 (5 months old)

#644 "Tammie Brown"
seed parent: #276 "Zach Religious"
sow date: 15 May 2014 (7 months old)

#649 "Layona Davenport" (warning: Katy Perry music at link2)
seed parent: #276 "Zach Religious"
sow date: 15 May 2014 (7 months old)

And of course there are berries developing all over the house, and seeds germinating in containers, and so forth. 'Midori,' the green-blooming plant I bought in July, has in fact been pollinated once, for sure, has produced a second bloom (maybe pollinated, maybe not), and looks to be fairly close to having mature berries, which is especially exciting. I have maybe, maybe, finally also pollinated 'Florida' (the huge orange-bloomer), 'Krypton,' which has small red-purple blooms, and 'Joli,' which has complicated blooms that shade from purple to hot pink to red-orange as the plant ages. Time will tell. I've been technically successful once before with 'Krypton,' but not with the other two, and 'Krypton' has produced only a handful of fairly weak seedlings so I'm not sure it's the best plant to be breeding with in the first place.

(But it's pretty.)

Finally, there have been four new first-time buds since the last report. The furthest along is #334 "Jean Poole," which is the Anthurium seedling I'm most excited about lately -- the bud color isn't anything new,3 but the foliage is great. Dark, dark green, with brown new leaves, plus the leaves are gigantic4 and slightly wavy along their edges, something I've only seen on 'Red Hot' (slightly wavy) and the NOID red-purple (very wavy), so I'm guessing that one of those is the pollen parent.5 It's also growing nicely upright so far, without any need for stakes or other supports: a lot of the seedlings only grow upright when very young, and then flop over, which is obnoxious.

That's a 6-inch / 15 cm pot, by the way.

I've also seen first buds on 132 "Eve Stropper,"

241 "Megan Gigaterra,"

and 259 "Tasha Salad."

The first two of those look like they're probably going to be pretty ordinary pink or light pink spathes, but Tasha has a slight purple tinge that makes me think she may end up like 231 "Rhea Listick" or 035 "Alyssa Edwards". Both Rhea and Alyssa are favorites of mine, so that's at least a little exciting.

Also finally some new buds on several of the older seedlings, finally, after a long period without many blooms, so I suspect we'll be seeing more first-time buds in the next couple months. Why did all the plants stop blooming? We do not know. Why did they start blooming again? It is a mystery.6 I'm just happy to think that things might get moving again. I don't know what I would have done without the Schlumbergera seedlings.


1 Which is actually sort of a problem: fairly soon, I'm going to have to stop germinating every seed I get, and stop potting up every germinated seedling I get, just because I don't have room to grow them all out. I knew this day would come eventually, of course, but for some reason had convinced myself that it was still in the distant future.
2 Yes, that deserves a warning. (As if I would let you stumble unwittingly into a Katy Perry medley!)
3 Sort of a red / dark red, along the lines of #149 "Heather Boah," #002 "Alexis Mateo," #203 "Anna Mae Hemensouz," and #005 "Chad Michaels." It's nice, and I like it, but it's nothing new on its own.
4 Similar in size to #234 "Ross Koz," though a bit longer and narrower. The biggest leaf I could find to measure was 8 inches (20 cm) long and 4.75 inches (12 cm) wide. It doesn't really compare to 'Midori' or 'Florida' -- the biggest 'Florida' leaf I think I've seen so far is 14 x 8.25 inches (36 x 21 cm), which is also the house record for the A. andreanum hybrids -- but Jean is damned respectable all the same.
5 Probably the NOID red-purple. It's been a looooooong time since 'Red Hot' bloomed for me.
6 No, really, it kind of is. They've never done this before. And it can't be a natural seasonal thing either, because the plants upstairs in the living room kept on blooming steadily throughout the summer and fall. Best guess? They didn't like the "white oil," too many of them were busy working on berries to put any effort into new flowers, they were so crowded that many of them weren't getting adequate light to bloom, or some combination of the three.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pretty pictures: Phalaenopsis OX Prince 'OX1480'

Not terribly excited about this particular Phalaenopsis, though a lot of that is because it's hard to get me excited about any Phalaenopsis.

Phalaenopsis OX Prince 'OX1480' = Phalaenopsis OX Black Jack x Phalaenopsis Leopard Prince (Ref.)

In other news:

There will be at least one more Schlumbergera seedling to talk about; #083 has a bloom that is almost but not quite opened as of the 16th, and at least so far looks like the sort of plant I would buy if I saw it in a store. (Would you believe magenta / orange, for a color combination? I'm not sure that it works, exactly, but I can't say I've ever seen it before.)

I also have buds on a number of others,1 though there's always the possibility that those will drop before developing -- a lot of the first batch of seedlings (057 "Pyrotechnic," 024 "Bryce Canyon," 054 "Helpful Gesture," and so on) just dropped a bunch of buds on me, possibly because they got too dry, and don't appear inclined to make any more. But I'm pretty sure 083, at least, is going to finish building its flower in time for me to take a photo, and I'm interested in what y'all will make of it.

There will also be Anthurium posts soon. 040 "Ivy Winters" has finally gotten it together to produce a bloom (and followed that immediately with a second bud, which is kind of impressive even if the bloom itself isn't), and I've seen first-time buds on another four seedlings.2 This is after a few months of nothing at all happening,3 so I'm relieved.


1 (008 "Frightened Dog," 012, 021, 023, 027, 028, 031, 056, 061, 079, 084)
2 Namely:
132 "Eve Stropper" (light pink?)
241 "Megan Gigaterra" (white / cream right now, which probably means light pink eventually)
259 "Tasha Salad" (purplish pink?)
334 "Jean Poole" (red or dark red, with fantastic foliage)
3 Well. Lots of up-potting (including the first group of seedlings to advance to 6-inch / 15 cm pots), and lots of seed-starting. But that was all me: the plants weren't doing anything much, and hadn't been since June or July. Lazy freeloading bastards.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Schlumbergera seedling no. 055

By this point, I imagine some of you are approaching Schlumbergera saturation, if not already past it. How many more interchangeably orange flowers is he going to expect us to look at, you might be thinking.


I up-potted eight seedlings on 30 September,1 every one of which has now produced at least one bloom, which blooms you have already seen. Time from repotting to an open bloom ranged from 5 to 8 weeks.

On 29 October, I up-potted another four seedlings,2 two of which3 had started to produce buds within a month. So presumably there will be -- barring some kind of bud-drop disaster -- another two posts about those flowers, and maybe eventually four posts. Not sure.

Then on 23 November, I up-potted 24 seedlings.4 After a week,5 I've seen no buds on any of those yet, but I expect to see at least a few eventually.

So my best guess is, you'll see a couple more at some point this month, and then a new round could start popping up in early January. But there'll be a number of days without Schlumbergera photos soon.

As far as seedling 055 specifically is concerned, not a lot to say. It's fine. Orange. Shape could maybe be better, but we'll see. TinEye gave me lots of photos of autumn leaf piles and a surprising number of pumpkins. I hesitate to name a leafless plant "Leaf Pile,"6 so no. 055 is hereby called "Pumpkin Festival."

Might have a new Anthurium bloom or two for you to look at shortly, by the way. Don't get excited: it's not that great. But still, how long's it been, right?


1 Those being:
022 "Sad Tomato"
024 "Bryce Canyon" / "Safety Vest"
026 "Brick Wall"
054 "Helpful Gesture"
055 "Pumpkin Festival"
057 "Pyrotechnic"
060 "Wet Dog"
064 "Rose Hoses"
2 (Numbers 021, 079, 083, and 099)
3 (021 and 083)
4 (I am writing this on 30 November.)
5 (008, 010, 012, 019, 023, 027, 028, 030, 031, 033, 034, 056, 061, 066, 073, 078, 084, 088, 091, 103, 104, 107, 111, 112 -- of these, 008 "Frightened Dog," 012, and 088 have all bloomed or attempted to bloom in the past, and 012 was even pretty when it did so.)
6 The "leaves" on Schlumbergera are in fact flattened, segmented stems.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pretty picture: Renanstylis Queen Emma 'Nuccio's Reward'

Well. That is certainly a lot of flowers. I'm not sure what else to say about this, though. The photo might be more impressive at full size, but the background is a problem either way.

Renanstylis Queen Emma 'Nuccio's Reward' = Renanthera storiei x Rhynchostylis gigantea (Ref.)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Schlumbergera seedling no. 064

As with "Helpful Gesture" (no. 054), no. 064's buds are very striking: white, orange, and magenta shading into one another. This photo shows that better than the one for "Helpful Gesture" did.

In this case, though, it seems like the magenta and orange switch places, instead of the orange disappearing. The resulting flower is nice,

but it resembles 'Caribbean Dancer,' its seed parent, a little much. The main difference is that 'Caribbean Dancer' has a much stronger, purer red at the petal ends.

No. 064 is still pretty, I guess. I haven't decided quite how I feel about it yet.

When I put its colors into TinEye, most of the results were of other flowers. The overwhelming majority were pink roses, but I spotted a few Gerbera, Kalanchoe, and Adenium blooms in there too. There was also one incongruous photo showing three or four stacks of coiled pink garden hoses (why?), which kind of amused me, so for the name I'm going with "Rose Hoses." It's not especially evocative of the seedling's blooms, but it's fun to say, and that's the more important thing, really.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Schlumbergera seedling no. 060

I have been really surprised at the number of seedlings with severely reflexed petals. I mean, none of the varieties I started out with have unattractively reflexed petals, obviously, but numbers 007, 008 ("Frightened Dog"), 011, 013, and now 060 have all been very odd-looking. Going with "Wet Dog" for the name on this one, 'cause that's what it looks like to me.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Schlumbergera seedling no. 054

When I put the colors from seedling 054 into the TinEye search, I got a surprising number of photos from the same event. Bunch of people standing in front of a pink-red background with words on it in a language I didn't recognize. Google Translate said it was Basque, and suggested the translation "a photo of our photocall and got an iPad2 for a gesture in favor of Basque," which was not especially helpful. The photos also contained a prominent Twitter hashtag, #keinukaeuskarari, for which Google Translate suggests "flashing Help," which is alarming in a difficult-to-put-my-finger-on kind of way.

I have no idea what any of this means, and suspect maybe it has something to do with Basque nationalism (?), which is one of the many subjects about which I know so little that I have no opinions about it. So I basically stuck both translations into a word-blender in my brain and came up with "Helpful Gesture" as the official name for this seedling.

"Helpful Gesture" isn't the only non-orange seedling I've gotten so far, but it's easily the prettiest. It doesn't show up well in the photo, but in person, the petals shade from white to orange to magenta in a really pretty way. The orange mostly vanishes as the flower develops, but there's a trace of it left in the mature petals.

So "Helpful Gesture" is a keeper. The only other two seedlings I'm certain about wanting to keep around so far are no. 024 "Bryce Canyon" (so many buds!) and no. 025 "Clownfish" (such a nice color!).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Schlumbergera seedling no. 026

Going with "Brick Wall" for this one, mostly because it was one of the first seedlings to bloom. There are a surprisingly huge number of photos of brick walls on the TinEye search (Brick walls are apparently highly compelling photographic subjects. I didn't know.), and they've come up in lots of the color searches; no. 26 just happened to claim the name first.

Despite the sort of boring / hostile name, the photographs turned out well, I thought.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pretty pictures: Rhyncholaeliocattleya Kayla's Smile

Taking a momentary break from the Schlumbergeras for a previously-scheduled orchid. Doesn't necessarily do a lot for me (too daffodilly?), but I respect a bloom that can choose a color and really commit to it like this.

Rhyncholaeliocattleya Kayla's Smile = Cattleya Sunset Beach x Rhyncholaeliocattleya Susan Stromsland (Ref.)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Schlumbergera seedling no. 022

I'm calling no. 022 "Sad Tomato," since a few tomato pictures came up in the TinEye results, and "Crush With Eyeliner"1 is an okay REM song. As seedlings go, it's one of the better ones. A lot redder than the other oranges, a lot oranger than the other reds.


1 (which includes the line "she's a sad tomato" a couple times)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Schlumbergera seedling no. 008

Neither the flower color nor the flower shape has been as variable as I had been hoping for,1 and when shape deviates from the norm, it tends to be unpleasant. Behold Schlumbergera "Frightened Dog."

The name, obviously, derives from the excessively reflexed petals, which look to me like a dog with its ears flattened against its head.

The color is nice, I guess, but I don't really see any reason to keep "Frightened Dog" around just for that when I've got "Clownfish" and "Safety Vest."

They can't all be gems, you know.


1 Though I'm probably being unreasonable when it comes to color: the odds are high that most of these are siblings from a 'Caribbean Dancer' x NOID salmon/peach cross.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Schlumbergera seedling no. 024

When I potted up the seedlings, initially, they were very, very tiny. I hadn't tried potting up Schlumbergera seedlings before, and had no idea whether they'd all transplant fine, or whether I'd see 75% of them die the first week, or what. So, to hedge my bets, I stuck multiple seedlings into the same pot, which has turned out to be overkill, since very, very few of the seedlings ever died.

What this means for seedling no. 024 is that it blooms in two different colors, a nice pinky-peach that TinEye's search says is basically exactly the color of Caucasian infants,1 which plant is the clear winner in that particular pot, and possibly of the flat as a whole. And then there's a dark orange with a white tube, which looks a great deal like number 025 / "Clownfish" but is somehow inferior.

For record-keeping purposes, I'm going with "Safety Vest" for the darker bloom, because, you know, whatever. That's the color it is, it's not the better dark orange so there's no point thinking too much about what to call it.

Schlumbergera "Safety Vest."

Schlumbergera "Safety Vest."

Coming up with a name for the lighter bloom was tough; going strictly off the TinEye results, most of the obvious names wound up being kinda racist in one way or another.2 Fortunately, the page included a photo of Bryce Canyon, in Utah, which was a pretty good color match, so in the interest of recognizing that babies aren't all the same color, seedling 024 will be "Bryce Canyon" / "Safety Vest." I guess. Unless someone can come up with a baby-related name that doesn't sound racist.

This photo and all following: Schlumbergera "Bryce Canyon."


1 Or Caucasian skin in general; the search also caught several tattoo photos, shirtless guitarists (with and without tattoos), and women in bikinis (mostly without tattoos).
2 I mean, I'm willing to buy a Schlumbergera 'Exotic Dancer,' sure, but S. 'Caucasian Infant' seems a step too far.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Schlumbergera seedling no. 057

In the interest of coming up with more memorable names for the seedlings than just "number 25," "number 57," etc., I've been using the TinEye Multicolr[sic] Search Lab to look for things of the same color(s) to name them after.

In this particular case, the petals are (at least to a first approximation) #db665e, and the "tube" (there's got to be a better term for that) #f4dedb, which when paired with a sort of random amount of black (#000000) yielded multiple photos of fireworks, including a couple images from pyrotechnic displays at concerts. So seedling no. 57 is dubbed "Pyrotechnic."

Which is perhaps an exaggeration. But who'd want to live in a world where plants have to be named accurately?