Irises forum: Is there a virus in my iris?

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Name: Ken
Traverse City, Michigan (Zone 5a)
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bramedog
Dec 20, 2013 9:45 AM CST
I had an iris in one of my beds this past season that had stripes on it like a broken pattern on all of its blooms. Someone told me that it was probably a virus in the soil that was causing it. Never got a return reply of what it may be or if it is something I should be concerned about. The plants and rhizomes looked healthy for rest of the year. Any thoughts?
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Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
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crowrita1
Dec 20, 2013 10:05 AM CST
Do you know the name of the cultivar ? Some are noted for doing this. It can be caused by a virus ( the same one that makes those "splotchy" tulips), or ,I think it can also be a "random", or "wild" gene, in the particular cultivar. Another possibility, I suppose, is that the iris is "throwing a sport" (a sport is an abnormal vegative increase, either in color, or "texture" from the original). There is a whole group of these "broken color" iris out there, and some find them neat to grow! Is it just this plant? Or are several different ones involved ". If so, are they in the same bed? If it does it again next season.....I'll trade you for a piece! I kinda' like it! If Lucy chimes in, she no doubt can steer you to some more info on it.....Arlyn
[Last edited by crowrita1 - Dec 20, 2013 10:07 AM (+)]
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Name: Ken
Traverse City, Michigan (Zone 5a)
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bramedog
Dec 20, 2013 10:52 AM CST
I'm not sure of the cultivar. It was growing in my yard when I bought the house 17 years ago. I was thinking it might be some sort of mutation as it was only this one plant. I'll keep ya posted if it happens again this coming spring. I always liked the color of this iris. Not a real tall one, but it has a sturdy stem and big blooms. Broken colors are pretty cool. I just had 'wizard of odds' bloom for the first time last year. Thanks for the input.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Dec 20, 2013 2:37 PM CST
That color could be a chimara (sp?). It usually means that the bud was exposed to cold while forming. See what it does this coming season.
Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
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Muddymitts
Dec 20, 2013 6:41 PM CST
Whatever the reason, that's very cool!!! nodding

And it's a beautiful white Iris to boot!! Lovey dubby
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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Dec 20, 2013 7:58 PM CST

Plants Admin

Are their viral diseases of Iris?
Ken, over on the Lily forum I learned that Tulip Color Breaking Virus is not soil born as it lives only in plant tissue.
Evan
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Dec 20, 2013 10:25 PM CST
of course there are. Everything has viral dieases
Name: Susan
Keenesburg, Colorado (Zone 5a)
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MileHighGardner
Dec 21, 2013 2:10 PM CST

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Thank you so much for asking this question and for the answers posted! I hadn't had time to post my pics from last summer's bloom, but Madiera and Pallida both bloomed with the characteristics being discussed above. Madiera came out looking very diploid, and Pallida became mostly white with streaks of blue. I have more pics of them if any one is interested. They looked like "throw backs" to me. The later two photos are what these cultivars looked like in a different location.

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Name: Mary Ann
Kentucky
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Muddymitts
Dec 21, 2013 2:30 PM CST
Could you have accidentally hit them with overspray of Round-Up?
Thoughts become things -- choose the good ones. ([url=www.tut.com]www.tut.com[/url])
Name: Ken
Traverse City, Michigan (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Michigan Irises Daylilies
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bramedog
Dec 21, 2013 9:41 PM CST
I looked up and found that there is bearded iris mosaic virus, Iris mild mosaic virus and iris severe mosaic virus which are spread by aphids. Some of the symptoms are the leaves may become light green or yellow flecks and mottles(streaking). Flowers may develop patches of irregular color or breaks in the color. The plant loses vigor or become stunted. If they are infected, they will not recover. Dig them up, burn or bury them and keep aphids under control. I don't think this was my problem as they didn't have any of these symptoms and I never had an aphid problem (knock on wood). It is an isolated bed so I'll keep an eye on them this coming year.
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Dec 21, 2013 10:11 PM CST
Again, off & on cold weather in the spring when buds are forming can cause the different coloration. Each spring is different, & some plants are more suseptable to cold.
Name: Susan
Keenesburg, Colorado (Zone 5a)
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MileHighGardner
Jan 4, 2014 8:57 AM CST
Thanks for all the comments.

In reply to the above responses, I have used round up but not close to these plants. But with the wind in Denver ?? It is a possibility... However beginning in April last year, it got warm early, the spring flowers bloomed then we had two episodes of - 7 degrees below zero about 10 days apart! The daffodils and tulips got hit hard so it wouldn't be too hard to expect the growing iris were also affected.

I will watch these plants closely this year and if they do the same thing, off to the mulch pile they will go!
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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KentPfeiffer
Jan 4, 2014 9:55 PM CST

Moderator

The pictures of Madiera and the Pallida look like pretty classic examples of the effects of Roundup drift.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
Jan 4, 2014 11:10 PM CST
I am very familiar with the various virus symptoms in the Liliaceae family (Lilium, Tulipa, etc.) and the Iridaceae family from the bulbous genera. (I've not studied the rhizomatous genera that include bearded iris.) I would be very surprised if there is a difference between viral symptoms in bulbous versus rhizomatous genera in Iridaceae. To my knowledge, there are no viral symptoms shown on this thread at all.

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