Crocus virus

Jane McGary
Sun, 02 Mar 2003 23:39:51 PST
Alberto Castillo wrote,
>        In the meantime, keep it well away from your healthy material, if 
>possible in another city! There is nothing like being virus paranoid, as any 
>precaution may prove insufficient. In my long bulb life I have seen MANY 
>bulb collections wiped out by one single innocent looking virused plant 
>carelessly introduced among healthy ones.
>        I would like to see a virus page in the wiki as soon as possible so 
>inexperienced growers start seeing symptoms in leaves, scapes and flowers.

Good idea. For starters, a form of Crocus scepusiensis purchased last year
from Potterton and Martin is flowering here, and it has symptoms of virus
(random streaking and mottling of the floral segments). I had been told
several years ago that commercial stock of this species was virused, but I
had seen no signs of it in the old stock I already had. The P&M plants are
quite large-flowered and robust in spite of the virus symptoms. I will,
however, remove them from the collection.

I also received virused Crocus medius from Holland a few years ago, but I
have some of this species that shows no symptoms.

I know that some lilies host viruses without showing symptoms, being
"virus-tolerant," and I assume this can occur in other genera also. An
ELISA test is done to detect asymptomatic viral infections in plants, but
not many of us can have this done. Probably we all have a lot of virused
plants that we will never know about....

Jane McGary
NW Oregon

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