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Historic killer fungus?

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by mrbreeze, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    Last night I was reading an article in the net that was talking about how Santa Barbara is the epicenter of the orchid world etc. etc. In part of it, they interviewed (kinda) Lance Birk. They went on to describe how his entire collection was wiped out in one year by some kind of mystery fungus that came in an importation from Thailand, as I recall.

    I recall talking to Tom Nasser a year or two ago and amongst his lies and mumbled bragging, he said that Fred Hillerman had called him once to seek help on dealing with a mystery fungus that was destroying his collection. Apparently Nasser was no help because the old Hoosier's website said that they had received Hillerman's plants after his experience with this fungus.

    I have no idea if they were the same. No idea what it was. No idea if anything was ever found to work. Anyone else heard of these stories or know anything more about them? One hears similar stories on forums all the time but usually not about people in the public eye or people that were 'famous', even if just in the eyes of the AOS.

    Since both nurseries/collections were in California, I can't help wondering if this mystery fungus was actually a native or comes from grapevines or is spread by hippies, etc. :confused:
     
  2. Forrest

    Forrest Really Neat

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    Birks collection was wiped by Rust. At least that is what I remember him saying.
     
  3. T. migratoris

    T. migratoris Active Member

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    I thought we'd shaken that stereotype ...
     
  4. Forrest

    Forrest Really Neat

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    We haven't. I keep hoping though.
     
  5. vmijct

    vmijct Clif

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    I think it's the hippie's. Lot's of places for thing's to grow on them.
     
  6. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

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    Sure, blame the hippies. I get so sick of that crap, I could scream.

    Who has a clip, I need to unwind.
     
  7. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    Clip? In my day we used a tube.
     
  8. Forrest

    Forrest Really Neat

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    was that yesterday?
     
  9. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    Nah. I'm an old man now. Remember? I have a stache.

    Oh... and I'm pretty sure it was arrogance that killed Birk's plants.
     
  10. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

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    A tube? For what?
    Not an alligator clip or some hemostats?

    Kids.
     
  11. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    No. We weren't ghetto, MJ.
     
  12. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

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    F*ck you.
     
  13. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    It was too bad Birk lost his manuscript and photos for his last book. Incredible that five back-up positions would all fail at the same time. You don't see that every day.
     
  14. Clark

    Clark Gator Member

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    Clips, hemostats, stache are we talking abut the same thing? I thought Lance was cool, like Jon and Forrest.
     
  15. Brant

    Brant dazed

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    crunch in the end of a coke can punch a few holes - oh god i wonder what happened to my clips they had cool feathers and stuff..damn !

    all the cool diseases start out here don'tcha know
     
  16. Sanderianum

    Sanderianum New Member

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    I am exporting a lot of orchids to Europe, and have a large colelction myself, so I can speak about that.

    There are some sicknesses that appears on some jungle plants or specific nurseries.

    - The rust that Lance Birk describes fits perfectly well some colletotrichium I have seen in Thailand. It is definitely extremely difficult to eradicate, and sporulates like crazy, hence disseminates all around the greenhouses. 10 years ago, it was absolutely impossible to cure, and I have seen some nurseries wiped out in Thailand by that thing. Now, 1 shot of Azoxystrobin, and the problem is gone, because we have now chemicals powerful enough.

    - In the various messes, pseudomonas cattleyae attacks many species, including many bulbos in Malaysia, where I was last week. Many people don't know how it looks like, always imagine bacterias to be a kind of sludge/slime, but that one makes a brown patch with a yellow halo. Unlike a fungus, whose symptoms are perfectly similar, pseudomonas, as a bacteria, will never do any spores or fruiting bodies. That one is hard to cure, and spreads quickly by the sciarid flies, water droplets, or even touching the leaves. The only cure is a course of antibiotics, not in use by the standard hobbyist or commercial nursery.

    - Xanthomonas is to be found as well in quite a lot of orchid nurseries all over Asia, that one too is extremely difficult to cure.

    Regarding those stories, there are diseases that can wipe out a complete collection. Sclerotium or Fusarium sporulating in a greenhouse, and you can dump 1/3 of all of your plants in the next 2 months. Stories like Lance Birk or Fred Hillerman are not casual, there are many, but some will never speak about it. De Wilg in the Netherlands lost to collectotrichium a few thousands paphiopedilum plants. And there are more...

    Now, there are many new chemicals available, from the strobilurins fungicides to the famoxadone, and more, so what could have been an incurable deadly disease 10 years ago is merely a small problem now.

    www.hark-orchideen.de has pictures of diseases, they can be of interest to anyone. Some pythium pictures would be diagnosed by sight as bacterial disease, and some bacterial diseases as sunburn. Yet, Hark diagnosed everything by PCR or microscope, so you can believe that the diseases are properly identified.
     
  17. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    Now THAT is a response! Well done, sir. That's exactly what I was hoping for when I originally posted. Not the innane gibbering of drug-addled hippies that so often is the result of one of my posts. :bang:

    By the way...now that Jerry is dead...life kinda sucks. :cool:

    Is there a way to tell mite damage from leaf damage caused by loss of roots? Is pitting on the leaves *always* mites? TIA
     
  18. EdM

    EdM Member in Good Standing

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  19. Brant

    Brant dazed

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    "Excellent post, Sanderianum." i concur Ed.

    innane gibbering of drug-addled hippies i think someone needs a bong hit :) , besides ME
     
  20. al_sfbay

    al_sfbay Missing in Action

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    Sanderianum, are you familiar with the white fungus on sticks? I have one that has grown large enough to swallow Rhode Island! I can't seem to kill it with either Physan or Clearys, any suggetions?