Virused Bulbs

Diana Chapman
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 09:46:03 PDT
Nhu couldn't have said it better. Let's face it, they are diseased and 
spreading diseased plant material around the world is not only not a 
good idea, it is, of course, prohibited (but, realistically the USDAA 
and other government agencies can't possibly control it).  Many share 
Jerald's view, that virus is not a big deal, many others don't know how 
to recognize it, and large commercial growers would be put out of 
business if they had to only sell clean stock.  There has been a great 
deal of effort put in to cleaning up virus in hybrid lilies in the 
Netherlands, since over several generations they do seem to weaken, and 
we will lose many wonderful hybrids if nothing is done.  Small growers 
and hobbyists should feel a responsibility to grow virus free stock and 
share it.  I would be mortified if I thought I had sent out virused 
bulbs, and I have, with great regret, destroyed bulbs given to me that 
looked suspicious.  Grow your bulbs from seed, then you will have virus 
free bulbs, and get rid of anything that looks infected.  If you don't, 
you might be sorry when the virus spreads to other things. And, PLEASE, 
don't send virused bulbs to the BX.

Telos Rare Bulbs
> On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 8:59 AM, Jerald Lehmann <>wrote:
>> Are any bulbs virused in habitat and have been brought into cultivation?
>>   If so, is having that virused bulb really that bad?
> In the wild, virused bulbs are weaker than their uninfected counterparts
> and tend to be selected out. Therefore the chance of bringing a virused
> bulb into cultivation although not impossible, is certainly rare.
> As to if it's really bad to have virused bulbs? Absolutely!!
>> And if a virused bulb can grow and bloom without any signs of loss of
>> vigor, is having that virused bulb really that bad?
> The problem is not with the asymptomatic plant or one without loss of
> vigor, but the chance of it spreading to other plants in the collection.
> The same virus may not be so bad in one species, but can destroy another.
>> Viruses can almost come from just about anywhere, such as from the hands
>> of tobacco users.
> That's why we don't let anyone who smokes touch our plants or suggest that
> they wash their hands well with soap and warm water before entering the
> garden. It's a bit of a social strain, but keeping the collection free of
> viruses is priority. We've lost some really old and amazing South African
> bulbs due to viruses. Imagine having to dig up and throw out fully mature
> Haemanthus nortieri, sanguineus, amarylloides, Brunsvigia herrei, Boophone
> haemanthoides and other rare species! It was incredibly heart-wrenching but
> had to be done. The plants were infected at some point and each year
> produced smaller and smaller leaves and sicker looking plants.
> One bad bulb can spoil the rest. You can read more about viruses and how to
> keep your collection clean on the wiki Virus page:
> Nhu
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