Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Spotty Reputation

Toad Lilies are best known for their fascinating, spotty flowers, but apparently the continuing search for new commercial varieties with heavier spotting, has led us down a risky pathway. Chris Hallson, of Hallson's Gardens has discovered that some of the newest, most popular toad lilies owe their coloration to a virus, which causes not symmetrical spots, but rather blotches of color to infuse the petals. Alas, 'Rasberry Mousse', shown above, perhaps the most strikingly colored of toadies, is the poster child for this virus (which can be transmitted to other toad lilies in the garden). Two other varieties thought to be infected, are 'Blue Wonder', shown below, which in its first year in our garden doesn't seem to show much blotching, and 'Empress', at the bottom, which is definitely blotched. How easily the virus can be transmitted, and which other varieties are susceptible, has not been discovered yet; also it's not known how harmful the virus really is; is it just a curiosity, or will the infected toad lilies eventually croak...Posted by Picasa

Hmmm... I also have some toad lilies, which I grew from seed. I don't know if that means I probably don't have a virus infecting mine or not. Nice to find someone else who appreciates these late bloomers.
OK, Don, don't work the "croak" pun to - um - death...
Carol... I don't think most viruses are transmitted via seed, so you should be o.k.

Janet... I just flinched.
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