Kevin D. Preuss
Mon, 19 Jan 2004 06:55:10 PST
To throw my  two cents in...VIRUSED plants MUST BE Tossed in the garbage or
burned.   Keeping them around will, undoubtedly, infect other plants of the
Amaryllidaceae, and could even infect other nearby gardens (eg. a neighbor's
bed a few houses down...).

Throughout the state of Florida I've come across plantings (Hippeastrum,
Hymenocallis and Crinum) that show tremendous signs of the virus.  I'd pull
the plants up, but the city, homeowner and/or business owners would probably
think I was a vandal!
I had probably thrown away 100 plants my first few years of growing.  Some
might not have been infected, but if it looks like a duck and sounds like a
duck...I reduced my collection to just a few genera and then re-expanded
with a move from the country to the town, when in Gainesville.

In the past few years since relocating to St. Petersburg, FL  I have thrown
away less than a dozen containers, half of which probably did not have the
mosaic but were from the same lot and I did not want to take a chance.
After a long pursuit of a "virus-free" (in reality, a plant is never
completely clean of some sort of pathogen) collection, I am almost there.
Last year it showed up in an accession of Phaedranasssa dubia, which was
tossed immediatley.

Tissue culture of the basal plat meristem (the point from which new growth
cells arise) can provide virus free ex plants, in theory.  But, you have to
get the very point where cells are most rapidly dividing and then you can
get to the "clean cells" before the virus does.  I'd be curious to know if
they are then more virus resistant than the infected mother plant???

These viruses can cross into just about any genus of the New World
amaryllids, in my assumption. It obviuosly affects a few of the African
genera, but is not as widespread throughout the Old World amaryllids  I have
been told that it does not affect Zephyranthes and Habranthus, but I could
not determine this as the leaves are just to darn thin to evaluate.

So, a plant can be replaced, a collection on the other hand is much harder
to replace!

Spring is on it's way here, as red maples are blooming and red buds are
coming along, too. I have already seen Zephyranthes atamasco has started to
bloom in the wild already! and, most of my native Florida spider lilies are
beginning growth (wether on the dry bench or out in the open).

Kevin Preuss

More information about the pbs mailing list