Color breaking and other deformities in Trillium have been attributed to mycoplasma infection. The Rock Garden Quarterly published an article about this several years ago. As for tulips, some wild tulip species are strikingly marked, and this apparently non-viral character has been exploited in the breeding of feathered, flamed, striped, and similar commercial varieties. However, this doesn't mean that Dutch tulips are safe to plant around virus-free lilies, because some plants (including some lilies, as was recently noted about L. lancifolium) can harbor virus for many years without showing overt symptoms -- the virus can, however, be diagnosed with a lab test. Another good reason to grow your bulbs from seed! And no, I can't guarantee my bulbs are virus-free, sorry. My garden has some commercial bulbs in it that have been there for many years, though the sale bulbs almost all come from the frames, which are a little distance away, and I don't have any imported lilies. There are, however, very few aphids in the garden or frames, and these are the usual vector for plant viruses. Jane McGary At 10:08 AM 2/2/2009, you wrote: >Jim McKenney wrote: > > In a conversation during EWSW09 the topic of color breaking in tulips came > > up. I was assured that it was caused by mycoplasma, not viruses.