Verticillium Wilt Resistant Herbs
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Claudia Borgens
Posted on: August 30, 2000

I am not sure if this is the correct address to send this kind of inquiry, but am hoping you’ll at least be able to point me in the right direction. :) Your site has a wealth of information and I was very impressed when I visited it for the first time today!

I have a question regarding verticillium wilt resistant herbs: Do you have a listing somewhere of herbs and/or edibles that are resistant to verticillium wilt? I have a "kitchen" garden in which both of my oregano plants came down with the wilt. I’m a licensed ornamental and crop consultant and know that short of fumigation (not an option in this case) the disease is very persistant in the soil and the easiest option is to grow wilt-resistant varieties of plants (or grow nothing at all).

As this is primarily my herb garden, I went looking for information on what herbs are resistant to this wilt and have found nothing on the web or in my library. Someone on a gardening site recommended your website as a possible resource for my query. Any information you can provide me with would be most appreciated and I look forward to receiving your catalog in the mail soon.

I have never seen a list of verticillium wilt resistant herbs. There are, of course, reports of herb species showing susceptibility to verticillium wilt, but none that I am aware of that deal directly with the issue of wilt resistance or tolerance.

Of course, by a process of elimination you could build a list of herbs which *may* be resistant or tolerant. This would be comprised of herbs that don’t appear on lists of susceptible herbs. It would not be terribly reliable because absence of a particular species on a susceptibility list does not mean that verticillium wilt disease does not occur in that species, only that it has not yet been described and reported.

Working from two references in our library, "Plant Disease Handbook, 2nd Ed." by Cynthia Wescott (Van Nostrand, Toronto, 1960) and "Diseases and Pests of Ornamental Plants, 3rd Ed." by PP Prione, BO Dodge and HW Rickett (Ronald Press Co., New York, 1960), I have a compiled a quick list of some common herbs that are listed in these books and for which there is no verticillium wilt problem listed.

Angelica, anise, anise-hyssop, lemon balm, basil, bay laurel, bergamot, borage, burnet, calendula, caraway, catnip, german chamomile, roman chamomile, chives, coriander, dill, echinacea, fennel, feverfew, ginkgo, goldenseal, horehound, lavender, marjoram, nasturtium, parsley, rose, rosemary, sage, St. Johnswort, sorrel, stevia, tarragon, thyme, wormwood, and yarrow. Again, I reiterate that these herbs may turn out in fact to be susceptible to verticillium wilt.

Notable herbs reported to be susceptible to verticillium wilt include foxglove, ginseng, mint, chile pepper, rose, and strawberry.

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