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New busy lizzies bred to beat disease:

Garden centre chain B&Q brings back UK's favourite bedding plant

Garden centre chain B&Q says it will sell six million this summer of a variety resistant to fatal airborne disease downy mildew.

It used to sell 20 million busy lizzies - scientific name Impatiens walleriana - each year and says it has been inundated with enquiries after an epidemic of downy mildew devastated gardens and nurseries across Britain in 2011 when a strain became resistant to fungicides.

The fungus spreads in our damp climate and first appears as a grey powder. Plants lose leaves, flowers and their lives within a few days.

Most retailers pulled the nation's favourite plant from shelves and many gardeners switched to geraniums, begonias, petunias and marigolds and New Guinea Impatiens. Now Syngenta Flowers has bred a new variety called imara - strong and resilient in Swahili - in tribute to its East African origins.

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