On May 11, 2012, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (DPI) notified the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the detection and confirmation of gladiolus rust (GR) on gladiolus plants located on a commercial farm in Manatee County, Florida. GR infestations were previously detected at the same farm in 2006, and again in 2010 and 2011. Since then, APHIS and Florida DPI have been working together to mitigate GR infestations at this farm.
In response to the current detection, APHIS issued an Emergency Action Notification on May 14, establishing requirements for interstate movement of gladiolus stems from the GR-positive farm. Specifically, all leaf material must be removed from the stems and the stems must be completely immersed in a fungicide solution following the manufacturer’s recommended concentration and duration of treatment. In addition, APHIS must inspect and certify that all stems are free of GR prior to interstate movement. A list of customers purchasing gladiolus from this farm was acquired and forwarded to stakeholders so they can assess the risk and need for follow-up. These actions are necessary to mitigate the spread of GR to other areas of the United States and into Canada.
For the United States, GR is a quarantine pest that infects members of the plant family, Iridaceae, including potted/cut-flower varieties of Gladiolus spp., Tritonia spp., Crocosmia spp., and Watsonia spp. This rust is indigenous to eastern and southern Africa and has been reported in Morocco, southern Europe, Martinique, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Mexico. GR can cause severe losses of commercial host crops in all but the coldest and hottest areas of climate zones 7-12, if best management practices are not used.
For additional information regarding this program, you may contact Lynn Evans-Goldner, APHIS National Program Manager, at (301) 851-2286, or Robert Balaam, APHIS Regional Program Manager, at (305) 278-4872.