A disease that strikes those long-stemmed flowers called “daylilies” has been spotted in Iowa for the first time ever. The “rust” has the potential to infect other plants, including the popular hosta. I-S-U Extension plant pathologist Mark Gleason says the rust has blisters full of orange spores that will release orange streaks if rubbed.The daylily rust has been found in two eastern Iowa towns — West Liberty and Atalissa — both in Muscatine County. Gleason says the source of the disease has been traced to one place, contaminated nursery stock that came from Florida.The diseased plants were shipped from that Florida nursery to Iowa and 16 other states, including Minnesota and Kansas. Gleason says there are fungicides that could kill the daylily rust. He says the disease likely is not fatal, but it will make the plants look pretty bad.Gleason says it’s possible the daylily rust will not be able to survive Iowa’s harsh winter.
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