This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"C. P. P.," Albany, Whiteside county, Illinois, writes: "Enclosed please find three leaves of Lilium superbum, affected by some disease which finally ruins the plants. I have a bed of about a thousand, and they are about all nearly dead now. In 1882 they all perished from the same cause, but the bulbs did not seem to be injured, and in 1883 there were no indications of the trouble, and they bloomed finely. A bed of Can-didum also is about as bad by it. Whether the disease originates with them or Superbum I am not quite certain, but think the latter were affected first. It also goes on to other species near by to some extent, affecting Canadense most of any; then Umbellatum badly, where close to Superbum, and only a little further away; Speciosum moderately; a few spots on Auratum; very few on Ele-gans; none on Philadelphicum, Tigrinum or Par-ryii. I thought in early spring, when Superbum first came up, that it was from sun shining on the leaves when wet, but soon saw different. What is it? and what can I do to save them another year?"
[This is the fungus well known to lily growers as the lily fungus, though we do not know that it has been worked up and its exact character determined. Send a few leaves next year to Professor Wm. Trelease, Madison, Wisconsin.
But it makes little practical difference, as all these low forms of fungus life, whatever may be their names or character, are usually destroyed by sulphur. We do not know that this has been tried on the lily, but it is the only thing we know to recommend. It is not yet known whether the fungus will grow or not on perfectly healthy lily plants, but there is good reason to believe that the vital powers have been weakened before the lilies suffer much. They are usually native to cool or damp localities, and we may assume that our open warm gardens are unfavorable to robust health. The tiger lily and Lilium bulbiferum usually keep very robust in hot and exposed places. These are the only kinds that we have noted to keep free from the disease. Therefore, as a preventative we should recommend that the plants be grown in as damp and as cool a situation as possible. - Ed. G. M].