Sunday, September 25, 2016

Anthurium no. 0723 "Tara Dactyl"

Tara is one of two plants from the same flat, which bloomed at basically the same time, and had blooms of almost exactly the same shape and size. The colors were slightly different, but otherwise the blooms were basically identical, and that was weird. Tara's blooms, on their own, aren't anything we haven't seen before, really:


Red / red,1 decent shape, not a lot of scarring, but ordinary.

Where Tara manages to distinguish herself is in her leaves, specifically one side of the leaves. The tops are fine; nothing to get too excited about, though they at least appear to be fairly thrips-resistant.


But if you (literally!) turn over a new leaf, you get this:


The oldest leaves are plain green on both sides, but I don't know whether that means that the red veining disappears over time, or that they never had red veining to begin with (like maybe the red veining only appears on plants once they hit a certain age, the way that plants only begin blooming once they're old enough to bloom). I don't remember seeing red veining before the newest leaf, and its veins are still red six weeks after the above photo was taken, so if the color fades, it must fade slowly. I'll definitely be watching this seedling closely for a while.2

For a plant that's blooming already, there are surprisingly few leaves:


And I'm a little disappointed by the lack of suckering. But the red veining is more than enough to make up for any number of flaws, so Tara is pretty clearly a keeper. It would make me very happy to be able to breed an Anthurium that has permanent strong red veining on the leaves. (Ideally the veining would be on the top, not the underside, but I shouldn't ask for the moon.)

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1 Though it ages to red / purple. Here's the same bloom a month later:


I'm pretty confident that the two (three?) dark pits in the lower left corner are not bug damage, though I'm not sure what kind of damage I think they are. I'm most concerned about the bacterial infection I've mentioned previously, Xanthomonas campestris, but I can't find a photo of X. campestris damage that looks like this exactly, so it might be something else. Maybe a fungus? I don't have the "fungus" square marked on my Anthurium Problems Bingo card yet.
2 It should be noted, too, that the color contrast is more pronounced in person. My camera sucks at picking up this sort of thing -- I had a hard time getting a good shot of the brown/green veining on the spathes of 0330 Faye Quinette and the red/green veining on spathes of 0371 Deb Autry as well.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Anthurium no. 0698 "Landon Cider"

Landon surprised me a bit.


In particular, I was surprised by how similar he was to some of the first-generation plants, which also had red spathes and purple spadices:

Clockwise from top left: 0698 Landon Cider, 0110 Delta Badhand, 0108 Deena Sequins, 0112 Dottie A. Rebel, 0046 Aurora Boreanaz

And this coloration has showed up on some of the seedlings to bloom after Landon as well. So when I was wondering, a long time ago, whether I'd ever managed to get any 'Red Hot' genes in the mix, I guess I must have. Either that, or many genetic roads lead to red / purple.


I've also been pleasantly surprised at how Landon's bloom has aged. The spathe hasn't flipped backwards, it hasn't been ravaged by thrips, it hasn't cracked along the margins, it just keeps on looking unspectacular but decent. It even makes pollen!1 The leaves, too, seem to be thrips-resistant, which is always nice:


And the plant as a whole is okay. The internodes are maybe a little long, but that seems to be an issue for a lot of the second-generation seedlings.2


Landon is in seed group BQ (from 0005 Chad Michaels, sow date 25 August 2014), along with 0694 Brad Romance and at least three other blooming seedlings you'll meet later on.

So far, the BQ story is: there were a lot of them (58), they had a high mortality rate (only 9 survive), and the 5 survivors who have bloomed so far have all produced blooms of average or above average quality. The best is probably 0694 Brad Romance.3 Which makes me wonder what could have been, had the dead ones been luckier, but there's nothing I can do about that now so I try not to dwell on it.

0005 Chad Michaels (center) with its offspring 0694 Brad Romance (left) and 0698 Landon Cider (right). Neither child strikes me as looking much like its parent, aside from being generally Anthurium-shaped. But maybe I'm being too picky.

Verdict: Landon's a keeper; hopefully he'll produce some offspring who share his better qualities.
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1 Irritatingly, it seems like somewhere between a half and two-thirds of the seedlings I've come up with never produce any pollen. Some of this is probably because I get impatient and try to pollinate the female flowers as soon as they appear, with the result that the male flowers never form, and if I would just leave the inflorescences alone long enough I would get pollen from them too. But when I have made a point of leaving the spadices alone so they can make pollen, many of them still don't.
The point being that when a seedling does obviously produce pollen, it immediately becomes a little more valuable to me even if it's otherwise crappy. Not that I should be using pollen from crappy seedlings, but there are still moments when I need a good seedling pollinated, and literally only one Anthurium in the house is making pollen. Since it can sometimes be a very long time between blooms, I figure it's better to use pollen from a bad seedling than run the risk of never being able to get seeds from a good seedling.
Landon, of course, was already a pretty good seedling, so the fact that he also makes pollen means he's even better than he looks.
2 It's especially a problem for the seedlings from 0108 Deena Sequins, a lot of which is probably my own fault: I remember noticing that a lot of Deena's seedlings looked weird and leggy in the germination containers, and I think I remember potting them up anyway, just to see what they'd end up doing. So the news here is probably just "when you pot up leggy baby plants, you get leggy mature plants."
0108 Deena Sequins isn't the seed parent in this particular case, though she could be the pollen parent.
3 Though as he ages, Brad has made it clear that he's going to be huge. I personally like the really big plants (big-leaved Anthuriums are my Alocasia/Colocasia methadone), but they do take up a lot of space that I don't have, so when a new gigantic seedling reveals itself, I have a tough time settling on an emotional reaction. It winds up being like, hooray-and-also-oh-no.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Anthurium no. 0414 "Trudy Vocean"

Oh, Trudy. Trudy, Trudy, Trudy.

The first bloom attempt got this far and then stalled:


The second attempt opened up all the way, but left me sort of wishing that it hadn't:


I mean, it's not literally the worst Anthurium bloom I've ever seen, but . . . c'mon, Trudy. You aren't even trying.

The leaves aren't uniformly awful,


but when they're bad, they're bad.


Even if the thrips weren't an issue, she's not doing anything that 'Gemini' doesn't do already.

Verdict: not a keeper. Though she's still alive as I write this (15 September), and I don't necessarily have any immediate plans to toss her. Definitely gone in the next purge, though.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pretty picture: Epidendrum pseudepidendrum

Wikiposedly, this species can reach five feet (1.5 m) tall. That's a pretty serious orchid.


There have been a lot of Epidendrums in previous shows, but very few have had this green/purple/orange coloring, which I love every time I see it. Of the two similar previous plants, both from the 2012 show, both were heavy on E. pseudepidendrum genes:

Epicattleya René Marqués x Epidendrum pseudoepidendrum
Epicattleya René Marqués 'Tyler'

Epicattleya René Marqués is E. pseudepidendrum x Cattleya x claesiana (Ref.); Cattleya x claesiana is Cattleya intermedia x Cattleya loddigesii.1

The thin petals make it tough for an autofocus camera like mine to get a good shot of it, but I think these turned out okay. Or at least the above photo worked out okay. Less happy with the whole-plant shot:


My second-favorite thing about Epidendrum pseudepidendrum, after the color, is the botanical name, which is delightfully self-negating.2

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1 Cattleya x claesiana is a cross of two pink/lavender catts; intermedia has multiple color varieties, though most have a a dark lip in common, and loddigesii is typically a uniform light pink or lavender across the whole flower, though sometimes the lip is lighter.
2 Pseudo- means false, so the name translates as "the Epidendrum that is a false Epidendrum."


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Anthurium no. 0317 "Dred"

Dred was divided back in 2014 to make 0596 Alisa Summers, and all signs point to Dred and Alisa being clones of one another. In fact, I can't tell them apart just by looking at pictures of their blooms.

But here, you try. I haven't altered the color on any of these photos. Four are of 0317 Dred, and five are of 0596 Alisa Summers. Which is which?


Here's the story
Of a lovely lady
Who was bringing up three very lovely girls
All of them had hair of gold
like their mother,
The youngest one in curls

It's the story
Of a man named Brady
who was busy with three boys of his own
They were four men
living all together
Yet they were all alone

Till the one day
when the lady met this fellow
And they knew that it was much more than a hunch
That this group must somehow form a family
That's the way we all became the Brady Bunch
The Brady Bunch
The Brady Bunch
That's the way we became
the Brady Bunch

And . . . time's up. Here are the answers:


So.

I don't know why it took Dred so much longer to bloom than Alisa; it's possible that Dred was just the smaller of the two plants after division, and had more rebuilding to do before it could bloom.

In any case. There isn't that much to say about Dred, since I've already talked about Alisa. The blooms are still good, even if they do change to pink a little quickly, and Alisa has been amazingly productive -- I think she's even beaten the record for most blooms at a time, with five. Dred's already up to two simultaneous blooms, and she only started two months ago.

I haven't noticed the new growth being unusually-colored on Alisa, but I did get a picture of a new leaf on Dred.


The mature leaves are oddly textured.


My main objection to Alisa/Dred is that they have longish internodes. Not record-setting or anything, but Alisa has gotten big and floppy enough now that she's inconvenient to water. Dred's significantly smaller, so it will be a while before she reaches the same point, but you can see that it's coming.


I feel like I would also be remiss if I didn't mention Dred's namesake, a drag king I first encountered in the documentary Venus Boyz.1 I found the documentary itself of uneven quality, but Dred's parts were kinda neat. It's surprisingly difficult to find a decent video of Dred on YouTube, but there's one here that is mainly Dred talking about herself and her act, and then there's a blurry video of an actual show, with some awkward edits, here. For anyone who might be interested.


Quick note about a previous post: yesterday, JizzaBella left a comment2 on the post for 0457 JizzaBella. This is the first and only time a queen (or king, for that matter) has acknowledged one of my Anthurium seedlings,3 which I think is pretty cool.

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1 If you were wondering: "Dred" is a shortening of the given name Mildred Gerestant.
2 I'm assuming the actual JizzaBella is the person who left the comment; no evidence to the contrary, anyway.
3 And JizzaBella is only the second queen that I'm reasonably certain knows that they have a seedling named after them, the first being 0026 Peaches Christ, which incident was described in footnote 3 of this comment.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Anthurium no. 0105 "Deanne T. Christ"

I've mentioned Deanne once before; the context was that I was talking about the varying colors of the seedlings' new leaves. Deanne's have been, at times, a sort of purple-red. The color didn't photograph very accurately, and doesn't even seem to be a consistent thing from one leaf to the next, but it was interesting enough to save her from a few purges. I didn't think this necessarily indicated anything about the bloom color -- the seedlings with brown new leaves don't bloom brown; the seedlings with red new leaves don't necessarily bloom red.1 But behold:


Which makes Deanne one of a very small number of indisputably purple seedlings. And it's about damned time.2

Deanne holds the record for the longest time from sowing to first bud (54 months), and I haven't seen a second bud yet. Her foliage is abundant,


but shabby. Both the little raised bumps on the leaves and the flat brown patches are, I think, thrips damage. It's possible that the bumps are from something else, but the only alternate explanation I can think of would be scale, and I don't think I've seen much scale on Deanne.3


I tried to pollinate the spadix, of course, and it looked like maybe I'd been very minimally successful, with one or two berries possibly beginning to form, but then the whole inflorescence died anyway. So I don't get any seeds yet. Maybe eventually, though. Fingers crossed. I suspect that if I moved her to a larger pot, I'd see some buds pretty quickly, but not only am I out of shelf space right now, we're getting very close to the point when the few plants that got to spend the summer outside will have to come inside again. I desperately want to, but I can't figure out how to promote Deanne. I may be forced to throw out some of the less-impressive 6-inch plants.

So Deanne is slow to bud, didn't manage to produce seeds the one time she flowered, has kind of crappy/buggy foliage, and is not only a rare main color (purple) but an entirely new color combination (purple / orange4). She also stayed more or less purple as the spathe aged, unlike Mario Speedwagon.5

The progression as the spathe opened. Images are from (top to bottom:) July 9, 11, 12, and 16.

Unusually strong flaws, unusually strong virtues. Deanne is not quite the purple seedling I've been waiting for, but I'm still pretty excited, and obviously she's a keeper.

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1 (Though some do. There are so many red-blooming seedlings that it would be remarkable if the spathes never matched the new leaves.)
2 The only other one I'm certain about is 0200 Mario Speedwagon; most days, I would also include 0386 Violet Chachki. Several other seedlings have violet tendencies, but I tend to think of them as being primarily pink or red, just a slightly purplish shade of pink or red. Draw your own lines to separate purple from non-purple below, if you like:

Top row: 0386 Violet Chachki, 0105 Deanne T. Christ, 0200 Mario Speedwagon, 0231 Rhea Listick.
Second row: 0085 Carson Trucks, 0515 Diane Torr, 0480 Walterina Markova, 0406 Tricia Nullmaritch.
Third row: 0259 Tasha Salad, 0534 Celia Putty, 0333 Isaiah Littleprayer, 0514 Lauren Ipsum.
Bottom row: 0610 Nina Levin, 0234 Ross Koz, 0547 Cate Sedia, 0206 Marcia Dimes.

3 Admittedly, it's difficult to keep straight exactly how scale-infested all the seedlings are and ever have been. There are a lot of them, the severity of the problem fluctuates, and the seedlings below number 600 have all been around for a long time.
The scale situation has been, overall, pretty good lately, partly because I threw imidacloprid at basically all the Anthuriums at once, and it actually seems to have worked. Perhaps. Better than I was expecting, anyway. I'm not under any illusions that the scale is gone, but the imidacloprid has certainly made a difference. (Forgive me, Ginny. If I had anything else that worked. . . .)
I have also tried spraying a pyrethroid downstairs, for the thrips. It does not appear to have done had any effect, though it was probably not operating at full strength anyway: it was an old bottle, which had been stored outside in the heat, and I only sprayed it on the plants once. Expecting to see something happen was probably delusional.
4 Well. "Orange" is maybe an exaggeration. I'm not actually sure what color to call that spadix, but by comparison to 0200 Mario Speedwagon's spadix, it's much less purple and much more orange. Look back at footnote 2 again if you need to.
5 Mario starts out a very nice, solid, purple, which lasts for less than a week before he turns noticeably pinker. Very old spathes start turning a bit green as well, ultimately landing on an unattractive muddy orange.


Deanne's spathe didn't get that old, so I don't know what colors it would have eventually turned, and I didn't get any photos of it after the first week or so that the spathe was open, but my memory is that it was a grayish-purple, but still purple, when it died. With some brown thrips scarring.
Both Deanne and Mario have the NOID purple as their seed parent. Which I suppose is kind of obvious.

The NOID purple.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Anthurium no. 0457 "JizzaBella"

It will be fun to see if I can get through this post without having to refer to seedling 0457 by name.1

I usually try to start the posts with the best / prettiest / most representative bloom photo I have, so here it is, of the second bloom the plant produced:


Not terrible, right? Pink but not too pink, spathe that's unusually long and narrow, non-matching spadix. It's okay. Maybe it's even a little interesting, with the shape.

However, the first attempt looked like this, and never opened any further, which was aggravating:


And the second bloom, the one that looked not-terrible, turned into this after a month.


Which is still not bad, but it's a lot more ordinary. I'm not happy about the thrips damage, either; I'm having one of those moments where I'm convinced that I'll never actually get rid of the thrips.2

The foliage isn't anything to get very excited about either,


though it's good enough that I could forgive it, if the plant had interesting enough blooms.


I think I'm going to have to wait and see what the third and fourth blooms look like before I can make a decision on this one.

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1 It's not one of my names (link goes to JizzaBella lip-syncing Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time"), which should be obvious but I feel like I have to say it anyway.
2 The despair might be over by the time you read this; I'm writing on 10 September.

I am also increasingly certain that the bacterial infection I mentioned in the 0372 Tina Angst post is in fact happening, and maybe has always been happening? I know I've been asked about margin burns on Anthurium leaves, and I knew what the question was talking about, and guessed drought stress. But maybe it's always been Xanthomonas campestris.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Question for the Hive Mind: Unknown Weed

This plant had leaves similar to those of the strawberries it was growing among; I didn't realize it was something else until it had gotten noticeably taller than the strawberries, and started blooming. I suppose I don't actually have to know what it is, but I'm curious, and a bit of poking around online didn't help. Anyone know?