Crinum and virus

J.E. Shields
Sun, 18 Jan 2004 10:47:35 PST

At 09:45 AM 1/18/2004 -0800, you wrote:

>Is virus a problem with the pass along crinum or even purchased crinum?  I 
>bought some mixed crinum bulbs which have yet to flower but they show 
>light green streaks very similar to the pictures of virus posted last year 
>on this board.  Otherwise they appear very healthy.  I have never grown 
>crinum before and don't know if this is a natural characteristic or virus 
>induced but I am assuming the worst.

And how!  I've had to discard numerous rare crinums because they turned out 
to be infected with a plant virus when received.  You very probably have 
"virused" (virus infected) crinums on your hands.

>Can virus pass to other types of bulbs?  I have no other crinums and few 
>closely related bulbs.  I would at least like to see these flower before I 
>toss them.  I have found so little on plant virus on the internet.

Yes indeed.  As susceptible to plant viruses as crinums are the plants in 
the genus Hippeastrum ("amaryllis").  Viruses can be transmitted by 
insects, such as mealy bugs, leaf hoppers, and aphids.  They can also be 
transmitted by unsterilized garden tools such as clippers, and by the dirty 
fingers of the gardeners themselves.  Tobacco smoke is said to be able to 
transmit TMV (tobacco mosaic virus) to susceptible plants.

The only solution is to immediately discard (into a land fill or 
incinerator, not into your compost pile!) any plant suspected of carrying a 
virus infection.  There are no cures, except maybe in a university plant 
physiology lab.

Jim Shields

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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