Stemless / AcaulescentA plant that has no stems, when the flower stalks and leaf blades are produced from ground level.
ClumpingA plant that when multiplies forms a clump.
This upright rhizomatous perennial forms a clump with erect foliage and flowers. It has dark green arrow shaped leaves that arise from the base and the white spadix has a yellow centre and appears above foliage from spring to early summer.
Zantedeschia aethiopica is naturally found in South Africa growing in well drained to wet fertile silty soils with a pH range from 5.5 to 7.0. It prefers an open sunny to semi-shaded wind protected position and is frost and drought tender but rabbit and deer resistant.
The White Arum Lily is grown for its flowers and clumping habit. It is planted in small or tropical gardens along perennial borders or around a water feature. It is suitable for coastal regions establishing from division in one season and is moderately long lived. This perennial may also be grown in containers and the foliage and flowers are used in the floristry industry. It may be planted directly in ponds tolerating wet conditions and in some regions it is regarded as a weed. It has a high water requirement once established. (Scale: 3-drops from 3), responding to reliable moist soils that are organic rich.
UK hardiness zone H2
Climate zones 5 - 9, 12 - 24
USDA Zone 8-11
Zantedeschia (zan-te-DES-kee-uh) aethiopica (ee-thee-OH-pik-uh)
'Zantedeschia': after Italian botanical author Francesco Zantedeschi; 'aethiopica': from Ethiopia.
As a weed the White Arum Lily grows in moist, coastal regions of Australia and is invasive infesting native wetland habitats and along water courses. It is fast growing and once established the plant decreases the light for native seedlings to grow. This perennial is long lived and can form large clumps, tolerating an open sunny to heavy shaded position and tolerating most soil types. Mature plants produce masses of viable seeds. The seeds are dispersed by water or by animals and plant fragments are spread in garden waste or soil.
Control methods include physically digging out small infestations including the roots. Fruiting stems should be cut and bagged where possible then all plant material should be removed off site and destroyed. Spraying plants with a non-selective herbicide may be ineffective as the leaf has a very waxy surface inhibiting penetration and drifting spray may contaminate water courses.
This perennial grows to 1 m (3 ft) tall and is more tolerant of cold weather otherwise it is similar to the species.
This perennial forms unusual green markings on the spadix.
The Aroids normally appear in the tropics and is easily identified by their leafy spadix.
These plants are found in the tropics, sub-tropics and temperate areas of the world. They are represented as terrestrial, epiphytic, aquatic and commonly live in marsh environments.
The plants in this family are herbs, climbing shrubs and floating aquatics. The sap may be a latex form and the stem may be aerial, tuberous or rhizomatous in varying size.
The roots are either feeding type or clinging type and often aerial.
The leaves normally have a hastate base and are palmate to pinnate in shape and sometimes of forming holes.
The protogynous flowers are hermaphrodite or unisexual and monoecious; they are massed together on a cylindrical spadix that is enclosed with a leafy spathe. There may be 6-perianth segments, which are difficult to see with 6-stamens that unite, into units called synandria.
The ovary is superior with 1 to many chambers that contain 1 to many ovules.
The fruit is normally a berry and the seed may not have endosperm.
The South American Aroids are colourful, with spectacular foliage and commonly used as indoor plants. The Australian species are less dramatic and have been used as a food source.
This plant tolerates between USDA zones 8a to 11a and grows to 1 m (3 ft)
Fahrenheit 10º to 45º F
These temperatures represent the lowest average
Celsius -9.5º to7.2º C
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SimpleThe leaf that is not divided.
CordateA leaf that is broad and lobed at the base tapering towards the apex.
BasalWhen the leaves grow from the base of the plant or radically from the root-shoot point.
EntireA leaf margin with no irregularities (smooth).
SpadixA spike with a fleshy-textured axis, the flowers are often partly embedded
The white spathes have a central yellowish spadix and are held high above the foliage on a fleshy scape appearing during spring. Cultivars are white suffused green up to two thirds to the tip.
The inflorescence is a pit-fall trap for insects that are attracted to the unpleasant scent. The epidermal layer of the spathe and spadix forms a scale-like layer that insects can not cling to and oil is produced that neutralizes insects with stick pads.
The insects fall to the lower bulb part of the inflorescence where they are trapped for a single day ensuring pollination occurs. The following day the spathe wilts and the insects walk free to attend another flower.
BerryA fleshy succulent indehiscent fruit, contains one or more seeds"
The White Arum Lily is grown for its flowers and clumping habit. It is grown in small or tropical gardens along perennial borders or planted around or in a water feature. It is suitable for coastal regions establishing from division in one season and is moderately long lived.
This perennial may also be grown in containers and the foliage and flowers are used in the floristry industry. This plant may also be grown directly in ponds tolerating wet conditions.
In some regions this plant is regarded as a weed as the seeds germinate readily.
To divide lift rhizomes during autumn and then divide. Replant during early spring when shoots appear. When planting out space 45 mm to 600 mm (2 ft) for group plantings. Sow seeds when ripe in a well-drained media, keep moist.
Propagation by Seed (General)
In order for a seed to germinate it must fulfil three conditions.
1. The embryo must be alive (a viable seed).
2. The seed must have no dormancy-inducing physiological, physical or chemical barrier to germination; also the seed must be nondormant.
3. The seed must have the appropriate environmental requirements, water, temperature and oxygen.
The interaction between these requirements and dormancy is complex and may lead to different environmental requirements that avoid the dormancy of a seed.
Sowing Seeds in Containers
There are two general methods for germinating seeds.
1. Sowing seeds in a flat or germinating bed, through which seedlings are pricked-out then, transplanted into another flat with wider spacing or directly to an individual pot.
2. Sowing seeds by placing them in to flats with the appropriate spacing or into individual pots.
This method is normally carried out with medium to large seeds such as woody plants and plants that are difficult to transplant.
Seedling production normally occurs in a greenhouse / glasshouse, cold frames and on hot beds.
Method of Seed Sowing
Fine seed is sown in pots or flats that are no deeper than 70 to 80 mm. using a sterilised well-drained media (soil). Fill the container to 20 mm from the top and sprinkle sieved peat to 3 mm depth.
Press the media down level and firm with a piece of timber and then thoroughly moisten.
Mix the fine seed with washed sand and then sow thinly on the surface. These may be lightly covered with sand.
Larger seeds may be covered with media or a hole is dibbled and the seed is placed in the media.
For watering you may either mist the containers from above or place the container in tepid water and allow the water to raise through the pot to the surface of the media, then drain away and do not fill to the top of the container.
Place a piece of glass over the pot and store in a protected warm environment (glasshouse).
Seeds germinate best in darkness so shade the containers if in direct sunlight.
After the seedlings have sprouted remove the glass and ease the seedlings into direct light.
When the seedlings are large enough prick them out and transplant into larger containers and place them in a shade house to harden off.
Many seeds have different methods of seed preparation for germination such as nicking or cutting the seed coat to allow water penetration, also placing seeds in hot water and allowing it to cool off.
This is particularly important as it is softening the seed coat.
Bulbs, Tubers and Corms (General)
This is an underground organ with a short fleshy stem and a flower primordium that is enclosed by fleshy scales. The structure of this monocotyledon is designed for food storage and reproduction.
Tunicate Bulbs; daffodils, tulip, onion
These bulbs have a dry outer layer that protects the fleshy concentric inner scales as in an onion forming a solid appearance.
Nontunicate Bulbs lilies
These bulbs have no protective dry outer layer and are easily damaged. The scales are separate and are attached to the basil plate so care should be taken to keep them moist, as drying is detremental to their health. Root appear from the base and in some cases from the stem, normally growing during mid summer to autumn.
Offsets or Bulblets
This type of propagation is used on many bulbs which are normally removed when the bulbs are lifted then planted as separate plants. Some plants require a few years to produce offsets and they can remain on the plant undisturbed for many seasons.
Tulip produces offsets and should be lifted when the foliage dies off and daffodil forms offsets (split) over several years. These offsets may be stored or planted up directly.
Lilies increase slowly but the bulb in some species may be split and the scales produce bulblets as with other lily species bulblets are produced at the base.
Lily species may be grown from stem cuttings where bulblets form at the base of the stem or leaf-bud cuttings with a single leaf and an old stem heal, the bulblets will form in the axil of the leaf.
This method includes 'scooping' and 'scoring' on larger bulbs 170 mm (6 ¾ in) diameter. Scooping is carried out with a curved blade removing the basal plate of the bulb. Adventitious bulblets develop on the exposed scales.
The scoring method involves three cuts through the basal plate of the bulb, which produces bulblets in the axils of the scales.
In both of these methods the bulbs are planted out for one to two seasons where the mother bulb disintegrates and the bulbils multiply and grow.
This method is used for blood lily, hyacinth and other species. Well developed leaves are cut from the base, then cut into sections and planted in a rooting medium 30 mm (1 1/8 in) deep. In a few weeks bulbils will develop at the base of the leaf. These are then potted up and grown on.
Narcissus, Hippeastrum, Cooperia and many other species may be propagated in this method.
The mature bulb is cut into eight to ten sections each containing a part of the basal plate. These are planted in a rooting medium vertically as to just show the tip and maintained in a warm environment. Bulbils will form at the basal plate with in a few weeks. After developing the bulbils are potted up.
The corm is a swollen base that is covered in a protective tunic, which prevents drying out. It is composed of scale like leaves that have nodes and internodes where axillary buds develop. There are two types of roots, fleshy contractile from the new corms and fibrous from the base of the mother corm.
After the foliage dies off the corm is lifted and allowed to stand after which old corms, new corms and cormels are separated.
The cormels are stored during winter and planted during spring after soaking in water for 2 to 3 days. These may be planted into containers or in a prepared bed and allowed to grow on for one season.
The corm may also be divided by cutting it into sections, which develop into new corms.
This is a swollen underground stem that acts as a food storage organ with nodes and small buds as in the potato. Tubers may be propagated by both cutting the tuber in to pieces that contain buds (eyes) and sufficient stored food for growth or planted as a complete tuber.
Tuberous Roots and Stems.
These tuber roots differ in that there are no nodes or internodes and the buds are only produced at the crown with fibrous roots at the opposite end. The tuberous stems have a vertical orientation and arise from the first nodes as in Cyclamen species.
One or more bud is produced at the top of the crown and may be propagated by dividing the tuber so that it contains a shoot bud. Each section should be dried for a few days and stored in sawdust or vermiculite to avoid shrivelling.
In a warm humid environment the tubers will shoot.
A rhizome is a stem that grows horizontally either below or on the surface of the soil with the shoots growing vertically as in bamboo and many grasses. The stems are composed of nodes and inter nodes giving it a segmented appearance.
Propagation is normally carried out by division during spring and autumn by cutting the rhizome into sections each with at least one node. Placed on a moist bed or slightly buried and kept warm will produce roots and shoots from the nodes.
This is a large fleshy section of the stem that may have one or several nodes. They are produced on orchids and may vary depending on the species. They are propagated from offsets, which develop at the nodes or by division of the rhizome containing pseudobulbs during the dormant period.
Description of the Pest
There are many types of caterpillars from moths or butterflies, cutworms, bag moths, case moths, leaf rollers leaf skeletonises. The larvae generally eat leaves, seeds, flowers or buds by chewing out pieces. The size of the piece will depend on the size of the caterpillar and generally they are voracious eaters. The method of eating varies such as the leaf skeletoniser which leaves a network of veins or whole leaves are consumed.
The larvae have mainly 4 or 5 pairs of prolegs except Loopers which have 2 -3 pairs of prolegs. The number of prolegs can help in identifying the insect.
Small and Large Types
Casuarina Moth (Pernattia exposita) is gregarious, brown with a large head and tufts of hairs that line the slender body. It grows to 25 mm long and forms a tightly woven cocoon on the side of branchlets. The large female adult moth has a stocky body and generally slow moving, the male is smaller.
The larvae cause extensive damage to A. littoralis, A. stricta, C. cunninghamiana, C. glauca, and C. equisetifolia.
The hairy larva feed on the 'leaves" phyllodes, and stems, this can lead to ringbarking and death of branches.
Place sheets on the ground and disturb (shake) the tree for the larva drop to the ground on silken threads.
Spruce Budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) is a reddish brown with a yellow stripe on its side and chews on the opening buds and the needles of the host. The adult moth is dull grey with brown bands and spots on the wings, appearing in early summer. The larva is very destructive in northern hemisphere coniferous forests.
Banksia Moth (Danima banksiae) is a caterpillar up to 60 mm long and is brown with black and white markings on its sides and when disturbed it arch backwards and reveal an extruded red underside, close to its head. The grey adult moth has an orange coloured body with a wing span that is up to 80mm across with black and white markings.
Banana moth (Opogona sacchari) is in the order Lepidoptera. This nocturnal moth as a wing span up to 25 mm wide and is bright yellowish brown with a dark brown spot on the wings. It has a life cycle that lasts approximately 3 months with the eggs hatching in 12 days and the whitish larva with a reddish brown head is up to, 26 mm long, and lives for 50 days at 15° C. In warmer climates life cycle is quicker with up to eight generations per season. The female moth uses a ovipositor to lay up to 500 eggs in groups of five amongst the crevices of the plant. The voracious larvae tunnel into the plant, avoiding light. In bananas it infests developing fruit and in ornamental plants it prefers the fleshy stems, particularly in cacti, begonias, African violets and is also a serious pest of Pritchardia and Chamaedorea species. Symptoms include tunnelling activity, which may be difficult to see then dead areas appear on the stems. As the caterpillars destroyed xylem tubes leaves begin to wilt and the plant may collapse and die. In European countries it is a glasshouse pest that is controlled chemically.
Pritchardi species Banana moth larvae
European Pine Shoot Moth (Rhyacionia buoliana) lays eggs on Pinus species during late spring on the new buds and the emerging caterpillars in late summer feed on the shoots causing them to fold and become deformed, eventually dieing. A major problem in the pine forests of the northern hemisphere
Large Grass Yellow Butterfly (Eurema hecabe) is a small attractive yellow butterfly. with a wing span of 40 mm that lays its eggs on the feathery leaves on Acacia species such as A. baileyana, (Cootamundra wattle), A. spectabilis (glory wattle). Other plant foods include Cassia spp, Caesalpinia spp, Senna spp. Albizia julibrissin (silk tree) A. paraserianthes (Albizia) sp Aeschynomene sp (Budda pea), Indigofera australis (Australian indigo's), Sesbania cannabina (yellow pea-bush), Senna surattensis (Glossy shower), Leucaena leucocephala (wild tamarind).
The small lava are up to 15mm long, green with white lateral bands and feed on the leaves at night in small groups, hiding under the leaves during the day. Large infestations may strip trees and require control. The larva of this insect does not feed on grasses. The adults are important pollinators of many Australian native plants. Various sub species of this insect are found through out Asia.
Gypsy Moth (Porthetria dispar) lava is a hairy grey caterpillar that is marked with blue and red dots along its back and can grow to 75mm long. It is capable of defoliating large trees and is a major problem for several species. A major problem in the northern hemisphere.
Lawn Armyworm (Spodoptera mauritia) is a plump, smooth caterpillar that is darkish brown to black with multiple stripes and pattens along its body. It can grow to 50mm long and tapers from the head. They are gregarious and move around in groups, like an army. If disturbed the larva drop to the ground and curl up, "faking death" The larva pupate in the soil. They are a pest of grasses and monocotyledon crops mainly.
This insect is also found throughout Asia.
Drench a known area with old fashion soap 2L / 1000 cm 2. Note the numbers of larvae emerging.
Oblique-banded Leaf Roller (Choristoneura roseceana) lava feeds on the leaves and forms a nest by drawing the leaf margins together using silk threads. The adult moth is up to 25mm across the wingspan and is reddish brown with three darker brown bands across the wings. This is a problem in the apple growing areas of North America. It feeds on Maples, hawthorns, crab apples, Blackberry (bramble) and raspberries.
Red Humped Caterpillar (Schizura concinna) is a lava has a red head and humps with yellow and black strips on the body. It grows from eggs that were laid on the underside of leaves by the adult greyish brown moth that has a wing span up to 30mm across.
Tailed Emperor Caterpillar (Polyura pyrrhus spp. sempronius) adult is a large butterfly with a wing span up to 110 mm with four long tapering tails and the rear of the wings. The fleshy caterpillar with four obvious backward facing horns on a shield shape head. It is dark green with yellowish bands and transversal stripes over its back and grows up to 80 mm in length.
It is commonly found solitary or in small groups. Found over much on mainland Australia. The adults are attracted to overripe fruits they become drunk on this and so are easy to capture. The larvae feed on many plants including, Acacia baileyana (Cootamundra Wattle, A. spectabilis (Glory wattle), Delonix regia (Poinciana), Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor laurel) Robinia pseudoacacia (Black or false locust) Lagerstroemia indica (Crepe Myrtle), Argyrodendron actinophyllum (Black booyong), Celtis spp (Hackberry), Brachychiton spp (Kurrajongs) Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey locust).
Verbena Moth (Crambodes talidiformis) lays its eggs on the outside of the plant and the small green caterpillar that attacks seed pods by entering and eating the contents. It half emerges while pupating appearing as a small brown bump circled by a black ring. Native to North America
White Tussock Moth (Hemerocampa leucostigma) produces lava that is up to 50mm long. It has a red head with a yellow body that is marked in black and has four tufts of hair. The caterpillars pupate on the branches and the eggs laid by the adult moth overwinter on the trunk and are covered in a white waxy material. They are found on Aesculus species. A pest in North America of Oaks.
This insect has a Holometabolous life cycle, i.e. it has a larval and a pupal stage.
Distribution of the Pest
Many species are found throughout the world from tropical to temperate regions and most of the adults are capable of by flying
Many hairy caterpillars can be irritating Leaf Skeletonised
Period of Activity
Most active during the warmer months from spring to autumn.
Caterpillar Inside a Tomato
A wide range of native and exotic plants are attacked and can be a major problem in commercial crops or turf grasses. Plants with soft-textured foliage (eg vegetables, some indoor plants) are preferred, but trees and shrubs are commonly attacked.
Malvaceae Abutilon spp, Hibiscus spp and other members of the family are attacked by the castor oil looper, Croton caterpillar (Achaea janata) which feed on leaves. The tip borer Cotton tipworm (Crocidosema plebejana), Rough bollworm (Earias huegeliana) which feeds on young stems, flowers and seeds. A leaf miner (Phyllonorycter spp)
Acer saccharinum and Fagus species are attacked in North America by the Maple Leafcutter (Paraclemensia acerifoliella) that forms a small cocoon in leaves that it skeletonises.
In Australia Case moths and Painted apple moths (Teia anartoides)
Ailanthus altissima is attacked by the Cynthia Moth (Samia cynthia) light green lava, which eats leaves and the Ailanthus Webworm (Atteva aurea) which are olive-brown caterpillars that form web nests in the leaves.
Antirrhinum species are attacked by the Leaf Tier (Udea rubigalis) lava. This caterpillar eats pieces out of leaves and binds them together forming a nest. It is more commonly found in glasshouse culture.
Berberis species may become infested with the Barberry Worm (Omphalocera dentosa). This small caterpillar is black with white spots, up to 14mm long and feeds on young shoots and leaves. It also binds the shoots with a silken thread to form a nest.
Betula species are attacked by the Leaf Skeletonizer (Bucculatrix canadensiella). The small adult moth has brown wings with a whitish underside and its yellow green, 7mm long lava skeletonise the undersides of the leaf turning it brown.
Brachychiton, Senna and feathery-leaved Acacia species are attacked by the Tailed Emperor Caterpillar, particularly in dryer periods.
Catalpa species are attacked Catalpa Sphinx (Ceratomia catalpae). This large yellow and black Caterpillar grows to 76mm long and attacks the leaves. Large infestations can completely stripped a tree and control is carried out by spraying.
Calendula and Canna species are attacked by the Woollybear Caterpillar (Diacrisia virginica) which has yellow and black lines down its body is up to 50mm long and eats the leaves or flower buds. In Canna species the chewed holes tend to be in a straight line across the leaf.
Celtis species are attacked by the Spiny Caterpillar (Nymphalis antiopa) which is reddish, up to 50mm long and feeds on the leaves at the top of branched in groups.
Cheiranthus species are attacked by the Diamond-backed Moth (Plutella maculipennis) lava, which is a small green caterpillar to 14mm long that feeds on the underside of leaves and may form a shot hole appearance. It forms a small cocoon to pupate in and in cooler climates it may be found in glasshouses.
Cotinus, Fraxinus, Betula, Cornus, Crataegus, Aesculus, Tilia, Acer, Quercus and Populus species are susceptible to attacked by the Oblique-banded Leaf Roller (Archips rosaceana)
Iris and Antirrhinum species are attacked by Verbena Moth.
Picea, Abies, Tsuga and Pinus species are attacked by Budworm commonly found in the northern hemisphere.
Populus and Carya species are attacked by the Red Humped Caterpillar which chews the leaves.
Quercus species are attacked by several caterpillars including Saddleback Caterpillar (Sibine stimulea) and Datana Caterpillar (Datana ministra) that feed on the leaves.
Samanea saman is attacked by several caterpillars (Ascalapha odorata, Polydesma indomita and Melipotis indomita). These caterpillars defoliate the tree but cause no long term problems.
Spiraea, Fraxinus, Betula, Cornus, Crateagus, Acer, Quercus and Populus species are attacked by the Oblique-banded Leaf Roller.
Ulmus, Salix, Crateagus, Tilia, Quercus and Populus species, Pseudotsuga menziesii are attacked by the Gypsy Moth (Porthetria dispar).
Ulmus species are attacked by the Spring Cankerworm (Paleacrita vernata), which chews the leaves during spring and the Fall Cankerworm (Alosphila pometaria), which also eats the leaves during autumn. Ulmus species are also attacked by several caterpillars including the lava of the Leopard Moth (Zeuzera pyrina) and the Tussock Moth (Hemerocampa leucostigma).
Small numbers may be removed by hand and squashed while others species such as the Casuarina Caterpillar drop to the ground when disturbed by hitting with a stick or shaking the plant. On the ground they can be squashed or collected and placed in a bucket of soapy water. All rubbish around plants and glasshouses should be cleared as certain moths overwinter in such places.
There are many natural predators that reduce numbers including birds, lizards, frogs; other predators are wasps, viruses, and fungi.
The small plant may be sprayed using Pyrethrum-based insecticide to reduce numbers or dusted with an equally environmental friendly chemical. In severe cases crops may be sprayed with Carbaryl.
Always read the label for registration details and direction of use prior to application of any chemicals.
Various Thrip Species
Description of the Pest
There are many species of thrips that attack living and dead plant material. The winged adults are black, yellow, white or brown with slender bodies and up to 2mm long. The folded fringed wings appear as silvery stripes and the smaller nymphs are difficult to see, but are wingless simular to the adults. Both adults and the first two nymphal stages have rasping and sucking mouthparts.
Boree Gall (Kladothrips species) adults are gall producing thrips that form smooth bubble-like or irregular spiny growths on the leaves. These galls can contain up to 1000 insects that also reproduce inside, and are trapped until the gall dries or splits open. Commonly found in inland areas attacking the phyllodes of Acacia species.
Glasshouse Thrips (Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis) is a slender up to 15mm long with small fringed wings. The adult lays eggs on the underside of leaves where the nymphs emerge as miniature adults but wingless. Then feed on the soft leaves leaving a silvery mottled appearance.
Appearance and Distribution of the Pest
Thrips are found from tropical to temperate regions preferring a cool mild winter followed by a dry sunny spring that produces abundant flowers and new foliage. It is dispersed by flying and can be carries great distances on the wind.
These insects have a Hemimetabolous life cycle, ie. When the immature nymphs resemble the adults.
The female adult lays her eggs using an oviposit in a slit on flower stems or occasionally leaves. The eggs develop into four nymphal stages. The first two stages occur on the plant and the last two in the surrounding soil or in leaf litter, emerging as adults and flying to reinfect the plant. It takes ten to thirty days to develop from egg to adult depending on the temperature and rainfall. Under opium conditions thrips are produced in plague proportions.
Period of Activity
Thrips are most active during warm dry, calm weather, but dislike the soil to be too dry or wet.
Thrips congregate inside the flowers damaging the epidermal layer, allowing sap to leak out. This causes the flower petals to become brownish and curl along the margins. They also attack the upper surface of leaves causing a silvery discolouration as they suck the sap. The effect is a reduction in fruit and seed production on the host plant.
Generally many plants species are attacked by thrips including buds, petals and leaves that are soft are at most risk, such as Alyogyne , Baeckea, Hibbertia, Hibiscus and Leptospermum species. There is also a wide range of ornamentals suseptable to attack including apples, pears, citrus, stonefruit, grapes and strawberries.
Buddleja species may be attacked by the thrip (Hercinothrips femoralis).
Cordyline, Agave, Dracaena and Howea species, Ficus elastica are attacked by the Dracaena Thrips (Parthenothrips dracaenae) which feed of the leaves.
Knightia excelsa is attacked by thrips by feeding on the chlorophyll in the leaf causing significant paling of the leaves. Stresses plants are more susceptible and plants rarely die from attack.
Peperomia, Cissus, Tropaeolum and Passiflora species and some fern species are attacked by Glasshouse Thrips which can cause heavy damage in inclosed areas such as a glasshouse.
Watsonia species are attacked by the Gladiolus Thrips (Taeniothrips simplex).
There is no satisfactory cultural control. Small infestations may be ignored or the plant may be hosed to reduce the numbers. Removal of surrounding leaf litter, weeds and cultivating the soil can also reduce the numbers and disturb the life cycle. Care should be taken not to remove flowering weeds under trees that are in bloom as the thrips may migrate on to the tree, alternatively flowering annuals can be planted under trees to attract the thrips away.
No effective natural control though birds; wasp and other predators eat thrips. Weather conditions such as heavy rain help reduces numbers.
Thrips can be sprayed with Dimethoate or Maldison at least twice every ten days to kill newly hatched nymphs, but may have a detrimental effect on other insects such as bees.
Always read the label for registration details and direction of use prior to application of any chemicals.
Various Millipedes Species
Description of the Pest
Adults are long, many-segmented, hard-shelled animals belonging to the phylum Arthropoda and have two pairs of legs per segment. Some species can grow to 750mm long. Most are dark brown-black in colour, and when disturbed curl up.
Appearance and Distribution of the Pest
Most species are native to Australia, and are most active in moist, protected areas, under leaf litter and bark, etc.
Period of Activity
Active all year in moist warm, sheltered positions.
Millipedes feed on decaying plant matter, and may attack parts of plants that have been damaged by other pests, enlarging the wounds. They also feed on the underside of bulbs and can cause substantial damage.
Soft foliage and fruit of a wide range of ornamental plants at ground level or bulbs such as Daffodils and Jonquils.
Dig around the base of the plant and remove by hand.
May take snail baits.
Always read the label for registration details and direction of use prior to application of any chemicals.
Note: Plants affected by this pest are Deer Resistant plants not the susceptible plants.
Description of the Pest
There are two species of the deer in North America, the Whitetail (Odocoileus virginianus) and the Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) with several regional variations such as the Pacific coastal Blacktail (O.h. columbianus) which is regarded as a sub-species of the Mule deer.
The Whitetail on average grows to 112 cm (44in) tall and 180 mm (70 in) long and weigh 68 kgs (150lbs). The fir colour varies according to its environment but generally it is reddish-brown during summer and grey-brown in winter with a pure white underside on its tail. When the tail is erect it is known as the "white flag". Its antlers consist of two main beams from which the points emerge.
The Mule deer grow to 105 cm (42 in) tall and are up to 200 cm (80 in) long with the adult buck weighing up to 137 kgs (300 lbs) and the does up to 80 kgs (175 lbs). The fir is generally tawny brown during summer and during winter it has a heaver grey-brown to blue-grey coat with a small white tail that is tipped in black. The other distinguishing features are its ears that are up to 300 mm (1 ft) long (mule-like) and its antlers, with the two beams that are forked into smaller beams, which inturn fork again and again.
The Blacktail deer (Pacific coastal Blacktail) grows to 97 cm (38 in) tall and is up to 105 cm (60 in) long and weighs on average 73 kgs (160 lbs). The fir is generally tawny brown during summer and during winter it has a heaver grey-brown to blue-grey coat with a tail that is dark brown at the base then changing to black for 50% of its length. The antlers consist of two beams that are forked into smaller beams, which inturn fork again and again.
Appearance and Distribution of the Pest
The Whitetail deer are found throughout eastern United States, on the coast and inland but are not commonly seen in California, Utah or Nevada. They do not migrate but congregate together (yard up) during winter and feed in a part of their existing territory.
The Mule Deer are found in the western part of North America from South eastern Alaska to Mexico and from the Pacific coast to Texas. They migrate from highland mountain meadows to southern or lower snow free forested valleys during winter.
The Blacktail deer are found on the Pacific coast from Alaska to northern California. There is both resident and migratory Blacktails. The migratory Blacktails move southwards during late autumn at the first sigh of snow or heavy sustained rain and the resident Blacktails seek cover their existing territory amongst woodlands during the winter months.
All Deer breed from autumn to early winter and the does give birth from late spring to early summer.
Period of Activity
Deer are most active from spring to autumn but can be troublesome during winter when the feed is scarce. In some regions urban landscapes become the major food source both in summer and winter.
Browsing deer will feed on almost any plant and is most commonly noticeable during spring feeding on the new growth or twigs and stems leaving a shredded appearance. Deer also rub their antlers against trees damaging bark and snapping off small branches, this action also incurs damage under hoof as plants, lawns and garden structures are trampled on.
Some plants are more palatable to deer but when a deer is hungry or during drought conditions there are no "Deer Proof" plants. There is a range of plants that have a bad taste and are not destroyed and are regarded as (deer resistant plants). Deer resistant plants are the plants that are attached to this file not the susceptible plants.
There are many cultural controls that have been tried to move browsing deer such as frightening them with strobe lights, pyrotechnics or tethered savage dogs. These actions are only temporary and may cause more trouble as the stampeding animals move off. Fencing and netting can be an effective method of discouraging hungry deer from gardens but may be expensive on a large scale and require maintenance. There are several types of fences which include conventional 2.2m (8 ft) deer-proof woven wire fences or single-wire electric fences and slanted deer fences. Plant selection can also be effective, by using less desirable plants (deer resistant plants) as an outer border to the more desirable plant species and thus discouraging the deer to enter the garden. Hedges and windrows of less desirable thorny plants can also be a deterrent to browsing deer.
There are two main types of repellents contact and area. Contact repellents are applied directly to the plants and deter deer with a bad taste or smell. They can be applied by rubbing or spraying on to the plants and commonly used in an egg mixture. The commercial products have proven to work better than home remedies which include soap or chilli mixtures and hanging bags of human hair.
Area repellents rely on an offensive odour and are placed around areas that are frequently visited.
Contact your local distributor for available types and application.
Various Bacterial Species
Bacterial problem associated with water soaked strips on the leaves, stem, roots, fruit or flower. Bacterial wilts produce causative slime that clogs the water-conductive tissue of a plant.
Bacterial Blight (Pseudomonas mori) forms water soaked spots on the leaves and shoots, becoming sunken and turning black causing the leaves and twigs to wilt and die.
There is also a Bacterial Blight (Pseudomonas syringae pv pisi) that infects legumes during humid weather with water soaked spots on the leaves and stems near the base. The spots become dark and as the stem shrivels, yellow lesions appear. Leaves and fruit pods turn brown and die.
Bacterial Leaf Spot (Pseudomonas viburni) forms wet spots that enlarge becoming brown and sunken. These spots can be seen on the leaves and young stems and the bacteria overwinter in buds or in cankers. It is found on Viburnum species.
Bacterial Wilt (Xanthomonas species) infects palms causing the lower fronds to wilt then turn grey-brown and die. This is followed by the crown becoming spongy (rotted) attacking the vascular tissues and eventually causing the collapse of the crown. There is also a Bacterial Leaf Spot (Xanthomonas species) that causes spots on leaves with water-soaked margins and is found on Alocasia species.
Bacterial Wilt (Pseudomonas solancearum biovar 1 and 3). This disease initially turns the youngest leaves pail-green to yellow; they then wilt turn brown and die. It eventually affects the entire plant and is found on Heliconia species.
Black Rot or Bacterial Wilt
Black Rot or Bacterial Wilt (Xanthomonas campestris) is a bacteria rot that infects the leaves and seedlings of Cruciferous vegetables causing 'V' shaped pale yellow blotches to appear, normally infection occurs along the margin of the leaf or through damaged areas of the leaf. It also causes the flower head to become stunted and the veins or water conducting tubes in the leaves and stems to turn brown or blackish. Heavy infections cause the plant to wilt and die.
Bud Rot (Xanthomonas cannae) infects young leaves and flower buds of Canna species, killing them. Small whitish spots appear as the leaves or buds open, these enlarge then run together turning black. The symptoms also extend to the petioles and stems forming yellowish water soaked areas and the bacterium overwinters in the rhizomes.
Halo Blight of Beans (Pseudomonas syringae pv phaseolicola) forms water soaked or greasy angular spots on the pods or stems of the host. This causes the plants to yellow and become stunted. During humid weather a white slime is exuded from the damaged areas.
Soft Rot (Pecotbacterium carotovorum) affects bulbs, initially stops flowers from blooming or forming correctly. These flowers are shed, and the plant rots at the base causing it to collapse. On inspection of the bulbs a white foul smelling viscous smell is associated with a soft rot.
Wetwood (Erwinia nimipressuralis) causes wilting and branch dieback in Ulmus species. The wood forms dark water soaked areas with no obvious streaking in the outer sapwood.
Yellow Rot in Iris
Yellow Rot (Xanthomonas hyacinthi) is a bacterial disease infects the cell walls of the leaf, stem and bulbs and caused yellowish water soaked areas to appear. These areas become brown and shrivel, or pockets of rot appear, soon engulfing the entire bulb. The disease may start from the leaf down or from the bulb up infecting the whole plant. A cross section reveals vascular tissue that is choked with yellowish slime. Infected plants soon brown off, collapse and die.
Source and Dispersal
The bacterium is found in infected plant material and not necessarily the soil and is spread by splashing water, wind or infected stock.
It prefers warm moist conditions normally during spring.
These bacteria attack many plants including; onions, Hyacinth species and its varieties, this can be a major problem in bulb nurseries.
Vegetables such as potatoes are also infected by blight which forms dark brownish spots on the leaves that become larger, eventually killing them and followed by lesions on the stems. The roots are infected by falling spores and peas suffer from a bacterial blight that forms spongy leaves with dark brown edges. The leaves and stem shrivel and die.
Archontophoenix and Strelitzia species are susceptible to the Bacterial Wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum). The leaves become yellowish and brownish along the margins causes the fronds to wilt and dry out. The vascular tissue in the stems then becomes blackish and the plant dies prematurely.
Berberis species are infected by the Bacterial Leaf Spot (Pseudomonas berberidis) forming irregular dark green water soaked areas that turn purplish brown. It also infects young shoots and petioles or damaged areas.
Bougainvillea and Limonium species are infected by the Bacterial Leaf Spot (Pseudomonas andropogonis) which forms orange angular spots that are lighter in the centre and cause the leaves to fall prematurely. It is most common in tropical regions.
Caryota mitis (Clumping Fish Tail Palm) is infected by the Bacterial Blight (Pseudomonas avenea). The symptoms include water soaked translucent areas along the leaf veins that mature to brown then black with a chlorotic halo that is up to 2 mm wide by 50 mm long. Leaves of all ages are infected and immature leaves are more severely infected.
Control methods include eliminating overhead watering, removing infected foliage and improve air circulation around the plant.
Cheiranthus species and other plants in the Brassicaceae family are infected by the Bacterial Wilt (Xanthomonas campertris) causing the leaves to wilt, turn yellow and die. It also stunts the inflorescence and turns the phloem and xylem blackish. Other plants that are infected include, Arabis, Armoracia, Aubrieta, Brassica, Hesperis, Iberis, Lobularia and Mathiola species.
Corylus species are infected by Blight ((Xanthomonas corylina) that attacks the leaves and branches.
Delphinium species are infected by several leaf spots including the bacterial disease Black Leaf Spot (Pseudomonas delphinii) which produces irregular tar-like spots on the upper surface of the leaf with corresponding brownish areas on the underside. This infection may extent down the petiole to the twigs. It normally occurs during cool weather affecting the lower leaves first.
Dianthus species are infected by the Bacterial Wilt (Pseudomonas caryophylli) which turns the leaves greyish, then yellowish before dieing. Yellowish streaks are also seen on the stems.
Dieffenbachia species are infected by two Bacterial Leaf Spots (Erwinia species) and (Xanthomonas campestris pv. dieffenbachiae). Both form yellowish spots that turn brown on the leaves that have water-soaked margins.
Eschscholtzia species are infected bt the Bacterial Blight (Xanthomonas papavericola) which forms tiny black spots that are water soaked and may be ringed.
Euphorbia pulcherrima is infected by Bacterial Canker (Corynebacterium poinsettiae) which forms streaks on the green stems that are water-soaked. The leaves may also be affected producing spots or blotches.
Gladiolus, Crocus and Freesia species are susceptible to Bacterial Scab (Pseudomonas marginata). This disease attacks the corms by forming slightly raised yellowish lesions that develops a raised rim with a soft sunken centre, producing bacterial exudate. It also infects the leaves with small reddish spots appearing towards the lower part. These spots merge and destroy the basic cell structure (parenchyma tissue) in the petioles causing the leaves to fold downwards, eventually killing the plant.
Hedera helix is susceptible to the Bacterial Leaf Spot or Stem Canker (Xanthomonas hederae). This infection commences with pale green water soaked spots or areas appearing on the leaves. These areas than become brown-black and dry with reddish margins, eventually engulfing the leaf causing it to shrivel. The bacterium then extends along the twigs and into the stems causing cankers. Several Fungal leaf spots develop simular symptoms and may be difficult to distinguish the difference. Generally avoid high humid temperatures and water plants at the base.
Morus species are infected by Bacterial Blight (Pseudomonas mori).
Orchids such as Cattleya, Cymbidium, Cypripedium, Dendrobium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis and Zygopetalum species are infected by Bacterial Brown Rot (Pseudomonas cattleya) which forms water-soaked leaf spots that turn brown. Phalaenopsis species are particularly susceptible.
Caryota species are susceptible to Bacterial Leaf Blight (Pseudomonas albopercipitans). This disease forms elongated water soaked areas on the fronds that are translucent at first becoming blackish.
Roystonea regia, Cocos nucifera and Phaseolus species are infected by Bacterial Wilt (Xanthomonas species).
Tropaeolum species are infected by Bacterial Leaf Spot (Pseudomonas aptata) forming spots and rotting the leaves. They are also infected by the Bacterial Wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum) which gains access through damaged roots or through the stomates, causing yellowing, wilting and the death of the plant.
Zinnia species are attacked by Bacterial Wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum).
Remove and destroy any infected plants. As a preventive measure cultivate the surrounding soil to improve drainage, aeration and minimise weed growth. Do not over water and allow the soil surface to dry before rewatering. When handling the plants pick a dry period and take care to minimise damage.
At first sigh of infection the plant should be removed and disposed off and avoid replanting susceptible vegetables such as peas for up to three years.
There is no satisfactory chemical control. It is important to take preventive measures.
Sclerotinia Rot, Crown Rot
A fungal problem that attacks plant parts causing them to collapse and rot, including flower, leaf and stems.
This fungus attacks all the above ground parts of the plant but commonly infects the stem at the base, where it forms a soft, light brown watery rot that spreads rapidly. Under humid conditions the rotted areas forms white fluffy mycelium on which black sclerotia up to 10mm long develop. These sclerotia also form within the stem in affected areas. When leaves are infected the tissue may brown and dry out, especially during arid conditions. The resulting affect of infection is the death of the plant.
Image by B. Sonsie
Crown Rot (Sclerotium delphinii) causes leaves to turn yellow then become dry, and blossoms to wilt eventually killing the entire plant. It is found on Scilla, Viola and Delphinium species.
Flower Blight (Sclerotinia camelliae) infects flowers either by attacking the top of the petals forming brown specks or at the base of the flower where the petals turn brown then fall with out any sign of rot. The fungus develops on the fallen petals where microconidia are produced under moist conditions and eventually sclerotia appear. This form of the fungus can overwinter either above or below soil level until favourable conditions occur, then the spores are released and dispersed by wind.
Source and Dispersal
Sclerotia are found in the soil or on other infected plants and released spores are dispersed by wind.
Prefers cool moist conditions with temperatures from 10º to 25ºC and is more common from autumn to spring when it is wet.
A wide range of plants can be infected included French beans, peas, celery, cabbage, cauliflowers, carrot, parsnip, dahlia stocks, primula and many weeds.
Actinotus, Dampiera, Westringa species and Helichrysum bracteatum are infected by the Crown Rot (Sclerotinia rolfsii). Basial rot of the plant with cottony fungal growth and is associated with root congestion. Certain species of orchid may also be attacked.
Allium species are infected by the White rot (Sclerotium cepivorum) which is a major fungal disease of plants.
The bulb rot and are covered in mycelial which develop small black sclerotia (fruiting bodies) and infected plants may fail to produce flowering stem with the leaves become covered in a white mould, turning yellow then dieing off. It is commonly transmitted by infected seedlings and diseased plants should be burnt. Avoid re-planting Allium species in the infected soil where the spores overwinter. Soil may be infected for several years.
Antirrhinum, Aquilegia, Lobularia and Mathiola species are attacked by the Stem Rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum ) which infects the stigma travelling downwards through the flower into the stem where water soaked areas appear causing it to collapse. The flowers become pale and the entire plant may collapse. On inspection flat sclerotia may be seen in the stem.
Camellia species may be infected by Flower Blight (Sclerotinia camelliae) which causes blooms to fall and Stem Rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum).
Hyacinthus species can be infected by the fungus Black Slime (Sclerotinia bulborum) that causes the leaves to turn yellow then fall and bulbs to disintegrate.
Iris species are infected by the fungus Rhizome Rot (Botryotinia convoluta) that infects the rhizomes and forms black sclerotia, and is normally found on dieing plants during spring.
Turf Grass in warm climates is susceptible to Rolf's Disease (Sclerotinia rolfsii). The fungus infects the turf causing isolated dead patches up to 450mm across from spring to summer. As it progresses the dead patches increase in size and the white cotton-like mycelium can be seen in the underlying soil. It is not regarded as a major problem, with minor attacks on Cynodon dactylon (Couch) and Zoysia species.
Initially remove and destroy any infected plants, when replanting, avoid using susceptible crops for 3 years. Space the plants to reduce the humidity and airflow and cultivate the soil to increase the drainage. Remove weed growth and leaf or flower litter from around the base of the plants to reduce the development of spores
Turf Grass culture such as aerating soil and maintaining a neutral pH helps prevent infection of Rolf's Disease.
No suitable fungicides available, though drenching or spraying the soil with the fungicide dichloran helps control it.
Leaf Spot (General)
Various Leaf Spot Species
There is a wide variety of fungal leaf spots that infect perennials, shrub and trees. Some are specific to the host while others can affect a range of plants.
Generally light brown to purplish or blackish spots appear on the leaf and form concentric rings of fruiting bodies. The spots may leave holes, perforating the leaf or expand with pale green to yellowish margins and when the holes merge the leaf normally dies. There are many different types of leaf spot, some are discussed below.
Alternaria Leaf Spot (Alternaria nelumbii) forms a small reddish brown spots that are boarded in light green, and as they develop in size the leaf curls and dies from the margin inwards. Normally occurs on Nelumbo species (water lilies).
Helminthosporium Disease (Bipolris species), (Drechslera species) and (Exserophilum species) are responsible for several leaf spots that occur on all Turf Grass species. Generally they form black or white spots that may be faded and produce masses of spores in the thatch during late summer, under humid conditions. The life cycle is short and when conditions are favourable spores are splashed onto the foliage from the thatch, causing wide spread infection. Cynodon dactylon (common couch) is most susceptible and found in bowling or golf greens where it is a serious problem.
Banana Leaf Spot
Banana Leaf Spot (Mycosphaerella musicola) is found on many species of banana causing pale yellow streaks on the young leaves to turn brown with dark spots. The leaf then becomes dried, brown and dead commencing from the margins, eventually the leaf dies. Control requires removal of infected foliage or the spraying of a fungicide and fungicides should not be used during the fruiting period.
Lophostemon confertus (Brush Box)
Leaf Spot on Brush Box (Elsinoe species). This is a casual fungus that attacks the epidermal layer of the leaf, forming circular spots that are up to 25mm across and are often restricted by the main vein. These spots are a dull yellowish brown but can also have purplish patterns. A leaf may have more than one spot develop on its surface and normally appears on scattered leaves throughout the tree. This doesn't affect the vigour of Lophostemon confertus.
Palm Leaf-scab (Graphiola phoeicis) appears as yellow spots and develop into scabs or warts that are outwards hard and dark but with a soft centre with powdery yellowish brown spores. The infected leaves eventually die.
Palm Leaf Spot, Chamaedorea elegans
Palm Leaf Spot (Pestaloptiopsis species) appears as a small spot with a dark centre on the leaves and affects palms that are growing in shaded humid positions and normally control is not required, though infected fronds should be removed.
Source and Dispersal
Infection source is other contaminated plants and the spores are spread by wind or by splashing water. The fruiting bodies are black spots that appear on the damaged tissue releasing spores.
This fungus prefers a warm humid environment and leafy plants with soft new growth, particularly if they are crowded.
There are many ornamental and native plants that are hosts to a wide range of fungal leaf spots. Some specific ones are listed below. Plants such as Cornus or Paeonia species are infected by a large variety of leaf spots, while other plants attract a specific leaf spot.
Generally a healthy plant can tolerate fungal leaf spot attack, though it may make the plant look unsightly. In trees and shrubs it is difficult to control and generally not necessary, but in perennials and annuals control may be necessary in order to save the plant.
Acalypha and Arctotis species are infected by up to three leaf spots including (Cercospora acalyphae) and (Ramularia acalyphae) that rarely require control.
Acer species are infected by Purple Eye (Phyllosticta minima) which forms spots with brownish centres and purplish margins causing the death of the leaves.
Acer species are also infected by Tar Spot (Rhytisma acerinum) which forms round black spots that have yellow margins. Not normally seen on cultivated trees, but seen in forests.
Adiantum, Asplenium, Blechnum, Cyathea, Davallia, Nephrolepis, Platycerium, Polypodium and Pteris species are infected by the leaf spot (Pseudocercopora species) which forms circular brown spots on the fronds and heavy infection can defoliate a plant.
Aesculus species are occasionally infected with the leaf spot (Septoria hippocastani) which forms small brown spots.
Agave species are susceptible to the leaf spot (Coniothyrium concentricum), which appear as greyish spots up to 20mm (1in) across with concentric rings and black fruiting bodies. Affected leaves are destroyed as the infection spreads.
Albizia julibrissin is susceptible to the fungal leaf spot (gloeosporium aletridis), which does not normally require control.
Amelanchler, Chaenomeles, Crataegus and Rhaphiolepis species Mespilus germanica are infected by the leaf spot (Fabraea maculata) which may cause considerable damage during wet periods.
Aquilegia species can be infected by three types of Leaf Spot including (Ascochyta aquilegiae), (Cercospora aquilegiae) and (Septoria aquilegiae), normally appearing during humid conditions forming spots on the leaves.
Arbutus species are infected by two leaf spots (Septoria Unedonis) which produces small brown spots on the leaves and (Elsinoe mattirolianum).
Arctostaphylos manzanita is infected by the leave spot (Cryptostictis arbuti) which damages leaves but is not normally detrimental to the shrub.
Aspidistra species are infected by the leaf spot (Colletotrichum omnivorum) causing whitish spots on the leaves and petiole.
Aster species are infected by many leaf spots including (Alternaria species), (Cercosporella cana), ( Ovularia asteris) and (Septoria asteris).
Aucuba species are infected by several leaf spots, usually as a secondary infection after aphid attack. These include (Phyllosticta aucubae) and (Phyllostica aucubae).
Azalea (Rhododendron species) are susceptible to Leaf Scorch (Septoria azalea). This fungal disease forms reddish- brown spots which expand and engulf the leaf, with fruiting bodies appearing in the centre. Infected leaves die, then fall and the branchlets wilt. This problem is more serious during wet periods and may require control using a fungicide.
Banksia species are infected by several leaf spots causing chlorotic areas that have brown centres and is not normally a major problem for the plant.
Betula species may be infected by the Leaf Spots (Gloeosporium betularum) that forms brown spots with darker margins and (Cylindrosporium betulae) that also forms brown spots with faded indefinite margins.
Bougainvillea species are infected by the leaf spot (Cercosporidium bougainvilleae) which forms rounded spots with dark margins that yellowish ting. Infected leaves die and fall from the plant.
Calendula species are infected by the Leaf Spot (Cercospora calendulae) which rapidly infects the plant spotting the leaves and killing the plant.
Callicarpa species may be infected by the leaf spot (Atractilina callicarpae) forming irregular brownish spot or (Cercospora callicarpae) which can defoliate the plant in subtropical climates.
Campsis species may be infected by several fungal leaf spots including (Phyllosticta tecomae), (Septoria tecomae) and (Cercospora duplicata).
Carpinus species are infected by the leaf spots (Gloeosporium robergei), (Gnomoniella fimbriata) and (Septoria carpinea), all are minor infections not normally requiring control.
Carya species are infected by several leaf spots including (Gnomonia caryae) that infects leaves with irregular reddish spots on the upper surface with corresponding brown spore producing spots on the underside. It also has a secondary spore release that occurs on the dead leaves where it over winters. Other leaf spots include (monochaetia desmazierii) and (Marssonina juglandis).
Ceanothus species are susceptible to the leaf spot (Cercospora ceanothi) and (Phyllosticta ceanothi) both are of minor importance not requiring control.
Celtis species are infected by many leaf spots including (Cercosporella celtidis), (Cylindrosporium celtidis), (Phleospora celtidis) and (Septogloeum celtidis).
Chrysanthemums species are infected by the leaf spot (Septoria species) which forms yellow spots appear toward the edge of the leaves; these become enlarged brownish patches with yellow margins. Damaged areas may converge and in severe attacks and the leaves may fall prematurely or flower production is reduced.
Clematis species are infected by the fungal disease (Ascochyta clematidina) which may cause stem rot or leaf spots that are water soaked areas with reddish margins. The infection spreads from the leaves to the stem causing wilting and eventually girdling the stem killing the plant. There are many fungal leaf spots that infect this plant including (Cercospora rubigo) and (Septoria clematidis)
Cordyline and Dracaena species may be infected by the leaf spot (Phyllosticta maculicola) which forms small brownish spots that have yellowish margins and has black fruiting bodies that forms coils of spores. These plants are also susceptible to other leaf spots such as (Glomerella cincta) and (Phyllosticta dracaaaenae). Keep foliage dry to avoid infection.
Cynodon dactylon, Pennisetum clandestinum and many other Turf Grasses are susceptible to Helminthosporium Disease.
Daphne species are infected by the leaf spot (Gloeosporium mezerei) and (Marssonina daphnes) both of which form thickish brown spots that are seen on both sides of the leaves. Infected leaves turn yellowish before dieing.
Dendranthema species are infected by many leaf spots such as (Septoria chrysanthemi) which first forms yellowish spots up to 25mm (1in) across that become black. Infected leaves die prematurely and persist on the plant.
Dianthus species may be infected by the leaf spot (Septoria dianthi). It forms light brown rounded spots that have a purplish border. The scattered spots on the lower leaves can also be found on the stems and the spores are dispersed by water from the tiny black fruiting bodies.
Dieffenbachia species are infected by several leaf spot fungi including (Cephalosporium species) and (Myrothecium species).
Eucalyptus species are infected by many fungal leaf spots such as (Mycosphaeralla species), (Hendersonia species) and (Monocheatia monochaeta). Generally leaf spots appear on the juvenile or new leaves causing brownish spots that enlarge and may have a purplish halo around the margin. Mature adult leaves are not normally infected and the trees rarely require control measures.
Fern species are infected by the leaf spot, (Alternaria polypodii). This fungus appears as brown circular or oblong spots that congregate along the margins of the pinnae causing the fronds to turn brown and die. It is spread by wind currents from plant to plant and control methods include removing infected fronds and maintaining a drier atmosphere.
Ficus species are infected by various fungal leaf spot including (Pseudocercospora species). Generally the fungal attack forms circular or irregular dark coloured spots on the leaves eventually causing them to fall prematurely.
Ficus elastica is susceptible to many fungal leaf spots including (Alternaria species), (Leptostromella elastica) and (Phyllosticta roberti).
Fragaria x ananassa (Strawberry) is infected by the fungal leaf spot (Mycospharella fragariae). The mature leaf is initially infected with well defined brown spots that that turn light grey with red-purplish margins. As the spots merge they form large brown blotches and the leaf turns yellow then dies. This fungal attack normally occurs on plants in poor health and can be a serious problem early in the season seriously damaging stock.
Fraxinus species are infected by the leaf spot (Gloeosporium aridum) giving the leaf a scorched appearance as large blotches appear from the margin or apex and turn brown with a papery texture. It is more prevalent during rainy periods and infected leaves fall prematurely. Collect and depose of fallen leaves otherwise control is not normally required.
Fuchsia species may be infected by the leaf spot (Septoria species) or ( Cercospora species), both form spots with dead centres and dark margins.
Gladiolus species are infected by Hard Rot or Leaf Spot (Septoria gladioli). On the corms reddish brown circular water soaked spots become large and sunken. These areas dry out and form obvious margins. The leaves may also have these symptoms but is not commonly seen.
Hemerocallis species are infected by several leaf spots including (Cercospora hemerocallis) and (Heterosporium iridis). These may be in the form of black spots or brownish spots that converge killing the leaf. Infected leaves should be removed and burnt.
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Hibiscus syriacus and Hibiscus tiliaceus are susceptible to several fungal leaf spots including (Ascochyta abelmoschi), (Cerospora kellermanii) and (Phyllosticta hibiscina). All cause spotting or blotching of the leaf surface; remove and destroy infected parts.
Hydrangea species are infected by four fungal species including (Ascochyta hydrangeae), (Phyllosticta hydrangeae) and (Septoria hydrangeae).
Iris species are infected by several fungal leaf spots including (Alternaria iridicola) and (Macosphaerella species).
Iris species are also infected by the leaf spot (Didymellina macrospore) that forms greyish spots with brown water soaked borders and coalesce on the upper part of the leaf. This casual organism commonly occurs after flowering killing the leaves but will not infect the bulbs. The bulbs become weak over several seasons due to the decreased foliage.
There is also a Bacterial Leaf Spot (Bacterium tardicrescens) that is commonly mistaken as a fungal problem causing translucent spots that coalesce and involve the entire leaf. Normally found on Iris species.
Laburnum anagyroides is infected by the Leaf Spot (Phyllosticta cytisii). The leaf forms light grey spots with no definite margin and mature to brown. The black fruiting bodies appear as dots in the centre of the spot.
Leucanthemum species are infected by the leaf spot (Cerocspora chrysanthemi) and (Septoria leucanthemi).
Magnolia species are susceptible to many species including (Alternaria tenuis), (Mycosphaerella milleri) and (Phyllosticta species). Leaves generally turn brown from the apex or margins turning brown or spots appear on the leaf surface and leaves become yellow before withering and dieing. Normally the make the tree look poorly but have little effect on its growth. Control is not normally required.
Nerium oleander is susceptible to several fungal leaf spots including (Cercospora nerella), (Cercospora repens), (Gloesporium species) and (Phyllosticta nerii). Infected leaves should be removed but generally control is not required.
Nyssa sylvatica is infected by the leaf spot (Mycosphaerella nyssaecola) forming irregular purplish blotches.
Orchids such as Cattleya, Cymbidium, Cypripedium, Dendrobium, Epidendrum, Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis and Zygopetalum species are infected by several leaf spots including (Cerospora, Colletotrichum and Phyllosticta species). Normally forming dark or dead, circular or irregular areas on the leaves.
Palms such as Syagrus, Howea, Phoenix, Roystonea and Washingtonia species are infected by Leaf-scab (Graphiola phoeicis).
Palms such as Archontophoenix, Caryota, Chamaedorea, Cocos, Dypsis, Howea, Liculia, Linospadix, Livistona, Phoenix, Ptychosperma, Rhapis, Roystonea, Syagrus, Washingtonia and Wodyetia species are susceptible to several fungal leaf spots including;
(Bipolaris spp.), (Cylindrocladium spp.), (Colletotrichum spp.) and (Pestalotiopsis spp.).
Generally the circular leaf spots are brown and may have a yellow halo such as Palm Ring Spot (Bipolaris incurvata). They vary in size from small to large depending on the species. When a plant is healthy it recovers from attack, but heavy infections can defoliate, causing the collapse of the plant.
Palms are also infected by the Brachybasidium Leaf Spot (Brachybasidium pinangae). This fungus forms angular leaf lesions that produce fruiting bodies on the underside and is commonly found on Archontophoenix species.
Passiflora species are infected with many types of leaf spot such as (Alternaria passiflorae).
Phoenix species are susceptible to False Smut (Graphiola phoenicis). This fungus forms yellow leaf spots that become hard with a raised with a blackish scab, which produces masses of powdery spores that are thread-like.
Pittosporum species are susceptible to the leaf spots (Alternaria tenuissima), (Phyllostica species) and (Cercospora pittospori). Circular or angular dark spots appear on the leaves and are surrounded by necrotic areas that are yellowish. Generally removal of infected leaves is adequate control.
Poa species and other cool season grasses are infected by Winter Fusarium Leaf Disease (Fusarium species), which causes small pale spots that are water soaked to appear on the leaves that turn red-brown. Infected leaves become bleached then wither and die, but the infection will not affect the crown or roots of the plant. It can be identified by pink, cotton-like mycelium and the plant prefers cold wet weather.
Populus species are infected by several fungal leaf spots including (Ciborinia bifrons, Ciborinia confundens), and (Mycosphaerella populicola).
Prunus species are infected by several leaf spots including (Cercospora circumscissa and Septoria ravenelii).
Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas Fir is infected by the Leaf Cast (Rhabdocline pseudotsugae) Symptoms include the needles becoming yellowish at the apex and extending down the needle and spreading to others during moist spring weather turning them brown. Brownish scorched areas are noticeable on the tree from a distance. Control; is not normally required for mature trees but nursery stock may require spraying with a copper based fungicide.
Psidium guajava (Guava) is infected by (Glomerella cingulate). This fungus courses spots to appear on leaves and mummifies and blackens immature fruit or rots mature fruit. This fungus can devastate a guava crop.
Quercus species are infected by several types of leaf spot including (Cylindrosporium microspilum) and (Marssonina martini). These attacks tend top take place later in the season and normally not detrimental to the tree.
Rhododendron species are infected by a large variety of fungal leaf spots including (Cercospora rhododendri) and (lophodermium melaleucum)
Salix species are infected by several fungal leaf spots including (Ascochyta salicis) and (Septogloeum salicinum).
Senecio species are infected by the fungal leaf spot (Alternaria cinerariae) and (Cercospora species), forming dark rounded or angular spots.
Spiraea species are attacked by the fungal leaf spot (Cylindrosporium filipendulae).
Stenotaphrum secundatum (Buffalo) turf grass is susceptible to Grey Leaf Spot (Pyricularia grisea) in domestic and commercial situations devastating lawns. This fungal disease infects the stems and leaves with small brown lesions that enlarge rapidly forming grey-brown spots that have darker borders or surrounded by yellow chlorotic areas. This infection is commonly found on newly laid turf but will also infect established lawns. It is most prevalent during warm humid periods in soil with a high nitrogen level.
Syringa species are attacked by up to six species of leaf spot including (Cercospora lilacis) and (Phyllostica species).
Syzygium species are infected by fungal leaf spots but normally control is not required.
Tagetes species are infected by the leaf spot (Septoria tageticola), which starts at the base and moves progressively up through the plant, covering the leaves in grey to black spots.
Trillium species are host to several leaf spots, including (Colletotrichum peckii) (Gloeosporium Trillii) (Heterosporium trillii).
Ulmus species are infected by many fungal leaf spots including (Gnomonia ulmea) and (Cercospora sphaeriaeformis).
Veronica species are infected by the leaf spot (Septoria veronicae). The symptoms include small violet to brown spots appear on the upper surface of the leaf and correspondingly yellowish brown on the underside. The spots converge forming a scorched shot-hole appearance and eventually death of the leaf.
Vaccinium ovatum is infected by the leaf spot (Rhytisma vaccinii) and (Dothichiza caroliniana).
Vicia species are infected by the leaf spot (Erostrotheca multiformis), which forms greyish spots that enlarge and may defoliate the plant.
Wisteria species are infected by three fungal leaf spots (Phyllostica wisteriae), (Septoria wisteriae) and (Phomatospora wisteriae).
Remove and destroy infected plant material and avoid overhead watering. When planting select infection resistant varieties. Practice crop rotation and add pot ash to the soil to decrease the plants venerability to the disease. Many species of fungus overwinter in fallen leaves, remove and destroy any litter under the plant.
Winter Fusarium Leaf Disease in Turf Grasses can be minimised by aerating the soil, reducing thatch and avoid excessive nitrogen in the soil.
Protective fungicides such as zineb or copper oxychloride should be sprayed at the first sign of infection and cuttings should be sprayed as they start to grow.
A number of Phytophthora species cause these diseases but the most important species in Australia is the cinnamon fungus, Phytophthora cinnamomi. This species is exotic to Australia and probably originated from south east Asia; it has probably been present in Australia for close to 200 years. Phytophthora are fungal-like organisms that are related to some protozoa and algae; they are microscopic and cannot be observed by the naked eye.
There are many types of Phytophthora Rot but generally the disease affects the plant by causing a soft rot of the affected plant part. The most common form of the disease is a rotting of the roots that occurs below ground with no visible symptoms of the disease above ground until the disease starts to cause leaf drop.
The disease is initiated below ground in the soil, usually on the feeder roots of a plant. The pathogen grows through the roots killing cells and eventually causing an extensive root decay. This causes the infected plant to lose vigour and the leaves to yellow and die. Entire branches starting from the top then die, quickly during hot weather or linger for months. The infection occurs on the root hairs causing small and large roots to rot. The symptoms of the disease are often very difficult to differentiate from drought symptoms, mainly because the affected root system prevents the uptake of moisture from the soil. Once the disease has progressed far enough large branches will die causing the typical dieback symptoms.
There are a number of other diseases caused by Phytophthora species
Twig Die Back (Phytophthora ilicis) attacks Ilex species causing black leaf spots and black stem cankers.
Phytophthora cactorum is known by several common names depending on which plant is being attacked and they have various symptoms. Plant species are listed below.
Root Rot (Phytophthora richardiae) infects Zantedeschia species causing the leaves to turn yellow, wilt and die. Flowers are deformed if they bloom and the infection can also be seen in the new growth, eventually killing the plant. On inspection the roots show signs of decay.
Stem Rot (Phytophthora cryptogea) infects the roots and stems turning them brown and seeds are also attacked causing decay. It is commonly found on Tagetes erecta and infected plants wilt, collapse and die.
Source and Dispersal
Image by Dr Brett Summerell
Phytophthora species produce sporangia that contain specialised zoospores that have flagella that allow them to move through the soil moisture small distances. These spores encyst on the root and then penetrate the root. The pathogen also produces chlamydospores, specialised survival spores that allow it to survive in the soil for extended periods of time. The chlamydospores can be transported in soil, even extremely small amounts, allowing the pathogen to be dispersed very easily throughout an area and from one location to another. The zoospores are easily moved in water flowing through soil and so are easily dispersed down slopes. It is not uncommon for the disease to move in fronts down a slope.
Chlamydospores, specialised survival spores
Image by Dr Brett Summerell
Phytophthora root rot is favoured by poorly drained soils or in soils that are waterlogged for short periods of time. The disease generally occurs during periods when the temperature is above 16ºC although it has been observed in snow gum country in the Barrington Tops National Park and in southern Tasmania. It also prefers soils that have little organic material.
Image by Dr Brett Summerell
The host range that is attacked by Phytophthora cinnamomi is enormous and is still not well understood but includes many Australian native plants, Rhododendrons, Acer and Prunus species, conifers, cabbage tree and strawberries. Some Australian plant families that are quite susceptible include species in the Proteaceae, Epacridaceae and Xanthorrhoea species.
Alphitonia excelsa can be infected by Phytophthora cinnamomi causing loss of foliage, death of the upper branches and cankers on the trunk.
Cactus such as Cereus species may be infected with Slimy Collar Rot (Phytophthora cactorum) which forms a soft black area at the base of the plant that is water soaked.
Chamaecyparis species may be infected with the Root Rot (Phytophthora lateralis) that attacks roots, trunk, stems and leaves.
Cornus species are infected by Crown Canker (Phytophthora cactorum) and in this case the tree is partially infected initially with one side producing smaller leaves that turn reddish in late summer. The leaves may also shrivel and die prematurely, during dry periods and small and large branches die. After a couple of seasons the tree becomes completely infected with poor top growth and an inconspicuous canker develops at the base of the trunk. Eventually the tree dies.
Erica species are infected by (Phytophthora cinnamomi). The symptoms include foliage turning greyish towards the top, and then the plant wilts then dies with evidence of infection at the base.
Phytophthora in Eucalyptus species
Image by B. Sonsie
Image by Dr Brett Summerell
Eucalyptus species are infected by Phytophthora cinnamomi causing rapid die back of the tree with blackened trunk loss or upper growth and is a serious problem for certain species such as Eucalyptus diversicolor (Karri).
Euphorbia pulcherrima is susceptible to Root Rot (Phytophthora and Pythium species). Roots become dark and the rot can extend up the stem. The plant is also susceptible to leaf blight resulting from the same fungal disease.
Hedera species are infected by Phytophthora Blight (Phytophthora palmivora). This fungus causes leaf spots, foliage blight and stem rot.
Palms such as Archontophoenix, Caryota, Chamaedorea, Cocos, Dypsis, Howea, Liculia, Linospadix, Livistona, Phoenix, Ptychosperma, Rhapis, Roystonea, Syagrus, Washingtonia and Wodyetia species are also susceptible to Phytophthora Blight forming large irregular areas on the fronds that become dark and rotten and limited by the veins
Lilium species are infected by Foot Rot (Phytophthora cactorum) which attacking the stems just below the soil level causing the plant to topple and if infection occurs as the leaves are emerging the base of the infected leaves which collapse remain attached to the bulb.
Morinda citrifolia is infected by Phytophthora Blight, black flag disease (Phytophthora species) which causes the foliage to turn black and limp. The fruit and stems are also infected causing them to turn brown-black and whither.
Orchids such as Cattleya, Cymbidium, Cypripedium, Dendrobium, Epidendrum, Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis and Zygopetalum species are infected by Black Rot (Phytophthora or Pythium species). This causes the leaves, pseudobulbs, rhizomes and roots to form a dark soft rot, normally occurring towards the base of the plant.
Saintpaulia, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Limonium and Anemone species are infected by Root and Crown Rot (Phytophthora nicotianae). This is a fast moving fungus that turns the roots blackish then extends to the crown and petioles causing wet rot of the crown then wilting, eventually killing the plant. When found as Phytophthora Leaf Spot or Blight, angular spots appear with water-soaked margins as in Cordyline and Philodendron species.
Sedum species can be infected by up to three Stem Rot fungi including (Colletotrichum species), (Phytophthora species) and (Pellicularia filamentosa). Commonly occurring in wet soils.
Ulmus and Acer species are also infected by (Phytophthora cactorum) and this is known as Bleeding Canker. This casual disease initially causes cankers in the bark that ooze sap and the sapwood forms reddish lesions with greenish margins. The leaves on affected branches turn yellow, wilt then die and mildly affected trees may survive.
Many species are infected by the Bleeding Canker including Acer platanoides, Acer rubrum, Acer pseudoplatanus, Acer saccharinum, Betula species, Liquidambar styraciflua, Aesculus x carnea, Tilia, Salix and Quercus species.
The most effective control for all Phytophthora diseases is prevention primarily because it is extremely difficult to control Phytophthora diseases after they are established in the plant. As Phytophthora species are most easily transported in infested soil quarantine is an essential component of control of the disease and it is for this reason many areas have hygiene protocols to stop the pathogen being introduced into an area. It is recommended that bush walkers take care not to introduce the pathogen on their boots into un-infested areas and for this reason it is suggested that walking boots be cleaned and preferably sterilised (with 70% methylated spirits) prior to starting a walk.
Cultural techniques such as cultivating the soil regularly with added animal manure and other organic substrates to ensure there is good drainage will also help to minimise the impact of the disease. The plants can be mulched with straw or other organic material taking care that the base of the trunk is left clear. Avoid over watering the soil and observe hygiene in regards to tools, containers or shoes to reduce spreading the infection.
Potting mixes should be pasteurised for 30min at 60ºC to ensure that they are free of the pathogen. It is also very important to grow pots off the ground to prevent the splash of infested mix or water from an infected plant to clean plants.
Avoid damaging the bark particularly at ground level and seal any wounds that occur. If cactus or tree species are infected it is possible to cut out the infected area when first seen in order to contain it. Correct tree surgery techniques are required for large trees.
There are a number of fungicides that are registered for use in the control of these diseases. The most effective chemical control are based on the use of chemicals containing potassium phosphonate. This chemical effectively enhances the defence systems of the plant and has been shown to be most effective in controlling Phytophthora diseases. It is essential that the chemical be applied when the plants is exporting nutrients to the roots, so this is best in the warmer months. The chemical can be applied as a stem injection or a foliar spray, and in some situations as a soil drench. There are specialised stem injecting equipment available for stem injections on larger trees.
Image by Dr Brett Summerell
Dr Brett Summerell
Director Science and Public Programs
Royal Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney
Average Lowest Temperature : -3º C 27º F
USDA : 8, 9, 10, 11
This USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) hardiness zone chart can be used to indicate a plant’s ability to withstand average minimum temperatures. However, other factors such as soil type, pH, and moisture, drainage, humidity and exposure to sun and wind will also have a direct effect on your plant’s survival. Use this chart only as a guide, always keep the other factors in mind when deciding where, when and what to plant.
A plant's individual USDA zone can be found in the Plant Overview.
This zone has the majority of rain during winter in the west and summer in the east with high humidity. Summer temperatures may peak at 40ºC (104ºF).
Frost and drought mainly occur inland and coastal wind is normally accompanied with rain.
Wide range of native and exotic plants grow well.
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|Leaf Shape||Flower Inflorescence|
|Leaf Arrangement||Fruit Type|
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