XYLELLA UPDATE: NOW ALL GERANIUMS ARE PART OF THE LIST OF SPECIFIED PLANTS. STRONG DOUBTS ABOUT ROSEMARY. WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR THE APULIAN FLORICULTURE.
Stop to geraniums in Puglia for the infected area. This is what emerges following the recent publication and adoption of the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1201 on measures to prevent the introduction and spread within the Union of Xylella fastidiosa.
Present in Annex II the updated list of plants specified for Xylella subspecies pauca.
Within the published list, in addition to the prohibition of production and sale extended to the whole family of Pelargonium, Ulmus parviflorus and Pistacia vera have been included as specified plants.
On the contrary, Salvia Rosmarinus (ex Rosmarinus officinalis) a plant which has always been considered particularly sensitive to the harmful organism, is no longer present in the list. As an association we express our enthusiasm for this novelty but, at the same time, we have strong doubts because until some time ago Rosemary was reported as sensitive to Xylella subspecies pauca. For this reason we have already asked the competent Phytosanitary Service to verify the issue in order to create unnecessary expectations and generate further damage to companies that could reactivate the production and marketing of this important species.
“The production of geraniums in Apulia, as well as other varieties of flowering plants is particularly impactful at an economic level; we are talking about a value of the production of flowers and plants that reaches 300 million euros. We fully understand the scientific reasons supporting this list, but I believe that we can stimulate a dialogue between the Region and the Ministry in order to restrict pelargonium to the varieties that are actually more sensitive, thus not excluding the entire botanical family. At the same time we have a serious concern for the absence of Rosemary in the list of species: we are working to verify that it is not a misprint, given the enormous economic impact that this species has on the production” comments Leonardo Capitanio, President of ANVE (National Association of Nursery Exporters).
“As nurserymen exporters we know well how these decisions contribute to create abroad a distorted image of the Italian nursery production (not only from Puglia!) and this is not acceptable. In fact, I remember how on the whole Italian territory and in particular in my region there is an advanced system of monitoring and containment of the pest, which has allowed us in recent years to slow down the spread of the bacterium as much as possible” concludes Capitanio.
For further updates and detailed lists please refer to the special section on the Xylella emergency in Puglia region www.emergenzaxylella.it