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PELARGONIUM RUST A New Geranium Disease


Illinois State Florists' Association


On August 25, 1967, some rust-infected geranium specimens obtained from a home-owner were sent in to us from West Chazy, N. Y. This proved to be a true fungus rust disease and was easily established on test plants held under quarantine conditions, using spores taken from the orignal specimens. An attempt to determine the source of the diseased plants brought only the information that they were purchased at a supermarket. Shortly after our discovery of the dis ease, its presence in the Monterey Bay area of California was officially reported by the California Department of Agriculture, and it was recently mentioned in the January 18 issue of The Florists Review (p. 75). Relatively unheard of until a few years ago, pelar gonium rust has spread with astonishing rapidity throughout the European continent, New Zealand, Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, but had never been reported in the continental United States until last year. Pelargonium rust is a typical rust, similar to snap dragon rust, producing brown, powdery, spore pustules on leaves, petioles and stems. Yellowish, chlorotic areas develop about the infections and infected leaves turn yellow, dry up, and drop prematurely. Not only are the brown, dusty spots objectionable, but loss of leaves makes the plants unsightly. A heavy infection could result in serious financial loss to the grower.

Source: • Illinois State Florists' Association Bulletin # 293

Keywords: Specimens chlorotic California Spore inoculum D rust control fungicide.

Libraries: Floriculture

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