Jim McKenney
Tue, 21 Nov 2006 05:04:14 PST
I think I've told this story once before on this list in one form or
another, but with the current postings on virus in Hippeastrum, perhaps it
bears repeating. 

Years ago I spend a wonderful day in the garden of an amateur lily
hybridizer.  As lily growers are apt to do, we were soon talking about
virus. The grower showed me some seedlings which were blooming for the first
time, and then we looked at some seedlings which were several years old. In
some of the older seedlings there was a subtle difference in size, texture
and substance. There were no gross defects in these older plants, and most
people looking at them would probably see nothing wrong with them. But they
were already beginning to show the symptoms of virus infection. 

I've heard other growers say that any field grown lily more than a few years
old is almost certain to be virused.

The best modern hybrids seem to be amazingly tolerant of virus. But I'll bet
that there will be very few collections of old, historic lily hybrids: most
of the older hybrids were lost to virus long ago.  

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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