Friday, January 13, 2017

Schlumbergera seedling no. 283

283A was the first seedling to bloom that didn't have 'Caribbean Dancer' as its seed parent; it's from the NOID white instead. I had been envisioning the offspring of the NOID white as a rainbow of pastels, peaches and pinks and lavenders, both in combination with white and one another. This is not how Schlumbergera genetics works, apparently. White --> more white.1

That said, hey, white is a new color for the seedlings, and it's a nicely-formed flower,2 which are both worth something. Not sure what, but something.

The other notable thing about 283A is that it's the only case where the only possible name jumped out at me immediately, which in this case is Migaloo.

Migaloo is the name given to an albino humpback whale in 1991: a scientist spotted him in Australia, and went to Australian Aboriginal leaders to ask what they would name a male albino humpback, and they came up with "Migaloo," which apparently translates "white fella."3 Migaloo is now pretty famous, as whales go, and has a website, Twitter account, Facebook page, and (maybe) son, though articles disagree on whether or not the son (already named "Migaloo Junior") is in fact actually related, and whether the son is a true albino or not.4

The pictures are pretty cool, especially the (rare) photos of Migaloo breaching. Worth checking out.

I have no memory of finding the name, but I assume it happened when I was looking for Moby-Dick-related names a while back: Moby-Dick --> the titular whale --> white whales in general --> real-life white whales --> Migaloo.

(This is the later, somewhat askew bloom.)

Not sure how I feel about the seedling specifically; I don't especially need another white-blooming Schlumbergera. Especially since you're going to see five more white seedlings before the seedling-naming is done: they don't necessarily all look the same-same -- one is a bit pinker, one's a bit disheveled, one declined to open all the way -- but you wouldn't know they were different seedlings if I didn't tell you. Migaloo is one of the better ones, so if there's a purge-of-duplicates at some point, he'll probably be one of the white ones I keep.


1 Based on other seedlings from the same batch, my guess is that the pollen parent here is the NOID magenta, so white doesn't always lead to more white. Often, but not always.
2 Though a later bloom was a bit wonkier, which you'll see at the end of the post.
3 I sort of feel like they could have worked a little harder at the naming, but whatever. It's a good word, even if the meaning's a little on the nose.
Should also note here that people don't go running to consult Aboriginal tribe leaders the second they see something unusual in the ocean; if I'm reading the articles correctly, he was first spotted in 1991, seen again in 1993, and confirmed as male in 1998. (Only male humpbacks sing, and he was singing.) Which is when they brought in the Aboriginal tribe.
4 (There are also articles disagreeing that Migaloo, Sr., is a true albino. The only thing all the articles agree on is that he's male, he's a humpback, and he's whiter than the typical humpback. Everything else seems to be up for debate.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Pretty picture: Tetratonia Dark Prince

The purge of the 4-inch Anthuriums has come and gone, and the losses were much less severe than I'd expected,1 largely because I'd underestimated the degree to which the 4-inch plants had been purged already, but also because many of them were still young enough plants that they hadn't developed any serious problems yet. Is this a good thing? Is it a bad thing? *shrug* Who knows.

I haven't really tried to purge the 3-inch Anthuriums -- I threw out four plants on 3 January, out of 398 (so 99% survival), but I didn't have the time to examine each seedling individually and make decisions. As I watered, I just threw out seedlings that were obviously in bad shape, which is what I should be doing all the time anyway.2

In any case. Discarding the 4-inch Anthuriums was less painful than expected,3 but the 3-inch purge hasn't really happened yet. And there's your purge report.

Now, the orchid of the day:

We've seen Tetratonia Dark Prince before, in 2014. That post complements this one well, since I got close-up and wide shots this year, and a medium-distance photo then.

Tetratonia Dark Prince is allegedly easy to grow (Ref.), and supposedly blooms a couple times a year for months at a time (Ref.). Though one of those sites is trying to sell you a plant, so some skepticism is probably warranted.

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

The patterning on the lip appears to be mostly a Tetramicra trait; see the photos of T. canaliculata near the bottom of this page.

Wikipedia has a page for Broughtonia sanguinea that strikes me as sort of interesting.

Both parents of Tetratonia Dark Prince are Caribbean; Broughtonia sanguinea is native to Jamaica, and Tetramicra canaliculata is fairly widely distributed: Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Hispaniola, Florida,4 and the Lesser Antilles.

Hoping to get a Schlumbergera seedling post up before the next orchid; the delay is mainly because I'm having difficulty settling on names, and difficulty settling on a process for generating names. One seedling had a perfect name show up immediately, so I can write about that immediately(-ish); for the rest of them, I'm keeping a list of plausible names for each seedling, and I guess adding to the lists until I have a certain number of good ones, and then I'll agonize and choose. This means I'm not going to be blogging them in the order they bloomed, like I did in previous years. You won't notice the difference, but it's going to bother me.


1 (127 seedlings to start with, 33 discarded, 94 kept, 74% survival)
2 I don't always bother because sometimes I'm having to rush through the watering, and throwing out seedlings is a lot more of a pain in the ass than you'd think, because there are so many spreadsheets to update afterward.
3 Most painful loss of this round was probably 0072 Beth Rowe, which bloomed well and had interesting-colored flowers, but also had thrips damage, pretty clear Xanthomonas, and possibly also scale. I tried, but couldn't rationalize keeping Beth.
0515 Diane Torr was hard too. Her blooms never quite lived up to their potential: one bloom had, like, one or two good days, which I was lucky enough to catch in a photo, but she didn't bloom a lot, most of the blooms never had a photogenic day due to thrips damage, occasionally spathes would refuse to open, and the leaves had a lot of thrips damage as well. Really interesting color, though.
4 In my notes, I have a question mark after Florida; the claim is debated.