WSU CAHNRS and WSU Extension

Hortsense

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Problem
(factsheet)
Plant NameTypeDescription 
Break (viruses)TulipDiseaseSeveral viruses affecting tulips are spread by many species of aphids. Viruses overwinter in infected bulbs. White and yellow cultivars do not exhibit obvious symptoms, and therefore may increase the risk that the disease will spread to other tulips. Foliar symptoms are rare but may occur on some varieties. Flower petals show streaks, stripes, feathering, or flames of different colors. Symptoms vary according to cultivar and age at the time of infection. Lighter colors will appear as irregular streaks or fine feathering. Dark coloring occurs in the form of small streaks or elongated flecks. The flame pattern appears as narrow or broad streaks in the petal's center section, but may also occur near petal edges. Flower size, pollen production, and seed set are reduced. Viral symptoms may be easily confused with genetic variegation, which is readily available in commercial varieties.
FireTulipDiseaseTulip fire is caused by a fungus that overwinters in soil, affected bulbs and diseased plant debris. Flowers are quite susceptible. Water soaked spots and dead spots occur on flowers. Severe infections may induce blight of entire buds and blossoms. Flower petals that drop onto leaves can promote further disease spread on the leaves. Sclerotia can develop at the base of stems and on the outer scales of developing daughter bulbs. Leaves develop small, elongated spots that appear yellow and water soaked. Leaves may distort and partially rot as spots enlarge. Infected areas eventually turn whitish-gray. The fungus attacks flowers and flower stems similarly. The grayish brown, powdery spore coating on the flowers is very noticeable. At the stem's base and on the outer scales of bulbs, several black or dark brown sclerotia may be found. These structures carry the fungus through the winter or other harsh conditions.