BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts officials are warning of a new plant disease affecting the Impatiens, a popular flower group.

The Department of Agricultural Resources said Tuesday that the disease — called Impatiens downy mildew — infects the flowers and causes them to die, but does not affect other types of plants or flowers.

Related:  Mildew Disease Threatens Popular Flower

Officials say the airborne disease can be carried long distances by the wind. The first sign of an infected plant are leaves that appear slightly yellow or off-color, with small, white powder-like spores on the underside of the leaves.

The advice to gardeners is to entirely remove any plants that show symptoms of the disease and dispose of them away from the property. Experts say the disease, which is incurable, first appeared in Massachusetts in 2011 and has been found in at least seven other states.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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