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Disease Threatens Florida Roses

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons


Florida’s $20 million rose industry is threatened by a disease that’s devastating the flower across the Eastern United States.

Researchers are working on a cure before the disease spreads in Florida, the nation’s fourth-largest producer of roses.

The disease is rose rosette. It’s appeared in three north Florida nurseries and a retail store.

Mathews Paret of the University of Florida is part of a national team of researchers working on a cure.

“The problem is that it takes some time for symptom expression. It takes sometimes about a year or two. It takes three or four years for the plants to completely die, and people could wrongly assume that this is due to some other problem.”

Infected plants become discolored and grow elongated branches and extremely thorny.

The disease is spread by a microscopic mite. So far the mite has not appeared in Florida.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »

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