Washington State University

Ornamental Plant Pathology Program

Ornamental Bulb Research

Greenhouse experiment with virus infected tulips.Ornamental bulbs represent an important high-value specialty crop in the PNW. Over 90% of the field-grown daffodils, tulips, bulbous iris and Asiatic/Oriental lilies produced in the United States are grown along the coastal areas of Washington, Oregon and northwestern California.

The estimated value of saleable bulbs and field-grown cut flowers varies from $20 to $30 million. The economic impact of the bulb industry as it relates to tourism is estimated to be about five times greater than the value of the bulbs and cut flowers produced by growers.

The WSU Puyallup ornamental bulb crop disease research program utilizes a combination of field, greenhouse and laboratory studies to better understand how various cultural and diseaseIris killed by grey bulb rot. management practices affect the development of foliar and soil-borne fungal diseases on daffodils, tulips, iris and lilies.

Studies include: 1) looking at survival of inoculum from one season to the next; 2) development of information that helps growers minimize the number of fungicide applications needed to control various diseases; and 3) the development of safer, more environmentally sound control strategies.

Contact: Gary Chastagner, 253-445-4528 | WSU Puyallup Research & Extension Center,2606 West Pioneer, Puyallup, WA, 98371-4998 USA