In 1998, following the very wet EI Niño weather event, a devastating outbreak of rust disease severely damaged the garlic crop in California. The disease also occurred in 1999 and 2000, indicating that rust may have developed into an annual problem. We identified the pathogen as Puccinia allii. In our study, it infected allium crops such as garlic, onion and chives, but not leek, elephant garlic or shallot. Currently registered materials did not control the disease, but tebuconazole (Folicur) and azoxystrobin (Quadris) provided good protection against garlic rust. Based on our work, a Section 18 emergency exomption for tebuconazole was approved by state pesticide regulators. We tested 34 UC and industry garlic varieties and found that none were completely resistant to garlic rust.