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Canna Yellow Streak Virus

Michelle Grabowski, UMN Extension Educator

Leaf streaking due to CaYSV
M. Grabowski, UMN Extension
Cannas are popular tropical plants that can be easily grown in Minnesota if rhizomes are brought indoors and protected from frost each year. In addition to a variety of flower colors, cannas also differ in leaf color. Leaves that are green to greenish blue, reddish purple, bronze, or variegated with white to yellow stripes can all be found in different varieties of canna. It is important to know what color leaves a particular variety should have however, because a very common virus can cause leaf streaking that many gardeners mistake for variegation.

Canna Yellow Streak Virus (CaYSV) causes yellow to brown streaks along leaf veins of infected plants. Severely infected plants may have poor growth and reduced or no flowers.

Although many viruses are transmitted from plant to plant by an insect vector, there is no known vector for CaYSV other than humans. Cannas are propagated by splitting the rhizome of one plant, and growing the pieces into many new plants. If the original plant is infected with the CaYSV, all new plants arising from that plant will also carry the virus. Once infected with CaYSV, a canna is infected for life. The only effective control is to throw out infect rhizomes and start over with healthy virus free plant material.
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