Southern Spain, Zone 5-9
Fissured or Wrinkled

Bark Type

Fissured or Wrinkled

Fissured bark forms long narrow divisions causing separations. Wrinkled bark generally has smooth folded appearance that may be warty.
Conical / Pyramidal

Growth Habit

Conical / Pyramidal

When the outline of a shrub or tree forms a cone or pyramidal shape.
15 - 30 m (50 - 100 ft )
7 m (23 ft)

Plant Overview

This large coniferous tree may have a solitary or multiple greyish trunks with horizontal branching that forms a conical crown. It has grey green needle-like leaves with whitish markings and the green-brown pendant cones appear in summer.


Abies pinsapo is naturally found from southern Spain to northern Morocco growing on mountain slopes in the adjoining valleys at an altitude from 900 m to 1,900 m (6,200 ft). It prefers a well drained fertile moist sandy to clay loam that is tending acid with a pH 5.6-6.5 and grows in an open sunny position and is drought tender but frost tolerant.


Spanish Fir is grown for its habit and is planted in large gardens or parks as a lawn specimen. It is suitable for cool mountain regions and the foliage is an excellent colour contrast. It establishes from a pot in 4 to 7 years and is long lived. Once established it has a high water requirement (Scale: 3-drops from 3), responding to mulch and an occasional deep watering during dry periods, particularly for young plants.


Abies (AH-bee-ays) pinsapo (pin-SAH-poh)




This variable slow-growing conifer may form a small tree or shrub up to 15 m (49 ft) tall by 8 m (26 ft) wide with grey green foliage and produces purplish-brown cones during spring.


Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee)

Larches, spruces, pines, firs, hemlocks and cedars


This family consists of evergreen monoecious trees (conifers) that branch in regular whorls with bark that is rough or scaly. The species are readily distinguishable by the annual production of woody seed cones.



This family of plants are found in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere extending in to Central America and northern Africa occurring in pure forest stands.


Diagnostic Features

The linear, flat or needle-like leaves are solitary or in bundles of 2-5 and are arranged spirally or alternately around the axis or in tufts with scale leaves at the base. The Pinus species produce clusters of needle-like foliage on short branches with the needles sheaved in colourless scales at the base.


The male (pollen) cones appear solitary or in clusters at the base of the new growth with the sporophylls producing 2 microsporangia (pollen sacks) on the lower surface. Female (seed) cones are erect or pendent and mature in the 1st or 2nd and sometimes 3rd year. The woody cones are normally dehiscent with many spirally arranged scales and bracts. The small, narrow cone bracts are not fused to the scales.


The woody or leathery seed scales produce 2-free or basally adnate inverted ovules and each develops into winged seeds except for some species or Pinus.



These fast growing trees are commonly used commercially for timber and in some cases become naturalised. Many are cultivated for reforestation or as ornamentals. There are 235 species worldwide with 6 species in Australia.


This plant tolerates between USDA zones 5a to 9a and grows to 30 m (100 ft)

Fahrenheit         -20º to 25º F

These temperatures represent the lowest average.

Celsius         -28.8º to -3.9º C



All photographs and data are covered by copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, reference or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means with out written permission. All inquiries should be addressed to attention Peter Kirkland.




The leaf that is not divided.

Leaf Shape


Margins are parallel and length is ten times its breadth.

Leaf Arrangement


Leaves arrangment is twisted like a screw.

Leaf Margin


A leaf margin with no irregularities (smooth).
Glaucous green
10 - 20 mm ( 0.4 - 0.8 in )

Additional Information

The ridged linear to acicular leaves have bluish white stripes on both sides and are slightly flattened. The apex is acute and the leaves are densely packed around the older twigs.



Botanic Flower Description


A cone-like structure with an axis bearing sporophylls.

Flower Inflorescence

0 - 0 mm ( 0.0 - 0.0 in )

Flowering Season

(Southern Hemisphere)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Additional Information

The small red male strobili appear on the lower branches and are generally inconspicuous and the female cones are pink to violet, turning brown on maturity. They appear during spring.



Fruit Type


A conical multiple fruit consisting of valvate scales having naked ovules or seeds. A strobilus. "
Green - brown
100 - 150 mm ( 3.9 - 5.9 in )

Fruiting Season

(Southern Hemisphere)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Additional Information

The cylindrical cones are purplish brown when mature and have no protruding bracts.


Well drained fertile moist loams, humus rich and tending acid
Not normally grown as a container plant
Full sun, open position, drought tender and frost tolerant
Leaf cast, twig blight, honey fungus, budworm, rust, canker

Cultural Uses

Spanish Fir is grown for its habit and is planted in large gardens or parks as a lawn specimen. It is suitable for cool mountain regions and the foliage is an excellent colour contrast. It establishes from a pot in 4 to 7 years and is long lived.



Care should be taken when selecting a sight as the tree has vigorous roots that can lift concrete and block drains.



This plant is susceptible to Balsam Twig Aphid, Spruce Spider Mite and Scale Insect.


Train to a single leader when young, remove unwanted branches back to the collar
Not normally required, mulch during summer and keep moist during establishment


Stratify seeds for 2 to 3 months during winter in peat at a temperature of 1.1º to 5º C (34º to 41º F). Sow seeds in pots then place them in a cold frame to germinate.


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.

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.


Watering Methods

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 then 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.


Two-spotted Mite, Red Spider Mite
Tetranychus urticae



     Two-spotted Mite, Red Spider Mite

     Tetranychus urticae





Description of the Pest

Also known as the red spider mite. Females are pale green or yellowish, depending on the host plant, and have two dark lateral markings; the mite becomes red in winter, retaining their dark markings. Nymphs are six-legged, with another pair of legs appearing as the mite matures. Males are smaller and narrower. Fully-grown adults are just visible to the naked eye. Two-spotted mites spread by crawling between nearby plants or movement of dead leaves.

Appearance and Distribution of the Pest

Found world-wide; an introduced pest in Australia. They congregate in protected places, such as under bark and at the base of trees, during winter. During spring, they become green in colour, and migrate back into the leaves. During heavy infestations, the leaves may be covered in visible webs, which they spin as they feed. Leaves may eventually wither and fall. Mites can spread via the movement of dead leaves, or in webs that have become attached to birds or large insects. They initially appear on the undersides of leaves.

Spruce Spider Mite (Oligonychus ununguis) is a tiny greenish black adult which lays eggs on twigs where they overwinter. The pale green young spiders suck the sap turning the leaves yellow to brown. Heavy infestations form webbing and the pest is found on Abies and Juniperus species.

Banana spider mite (Tetranychus lambi) is a major widespread pest of bananas.  It differs from two spotted mite by not producing copious amount of webbing.  It is highly active during the dry spring to summer period and with the onset of the wet season mite numbers are reduced.  The warm dry conditions that are created under plastic bunch covers is ideal for building up banana spider mite numbers.

Damage is normally confined to the underside of leaves appearing as rusty patches that coalesce along the leaf veins eventually turning the whole leaf brown-grey before it collapses.  Fruit is damaged, close to the bunch stalk causing the area to become dull red purple-black, which in turn becomes dry then cracks.

  Damage fruit

Control methods include careful water management during dry periods, and the reduction of dust from roadways.  Regular desuckering and leaf trimming of plants will assist with a good coverage when spraying miticides.

Life Cycle

Mites have a gradual metamorphosis, with several nymphal stages. Each female lays up to 100 eggs that hatch in 7-14 days, with several generations appearing throughout the year. Females may become inactive during cold weather.


Period of Activity

The Two-spotted mite is most active in hot dry conditions. Under optimum conditions, the population can double every four days. It produces large quantities of webbing for over-wintering nests. Many plants are only susceptible to this insect when cultivated under glass.

Damage Caused

Adults and nymphs lacerated the undersides of the leaves with there rasping mouth parts, although infestations on both surfaces are not uncommon. Infestations cause leaf mottling leaf fall; premature leaf loss causes loss of vigour and reduces the quality and quantity of future crops. Repeated infestations, year after year, may weaken root growth and kill herbaceous plants.

Susceptible Plants

A wide range of plants are attacked by the Red Spider Mite including annuals, fruit trees and vegetables, ornamental shrubs and trees.


Many plant species are more susceptible to Red Spider Mite when they are cultivated under glass.

Other species of mite that are mentioned below have simular characteristics.

Calluna, Rose, Tropaeolum and Viola and species are infested with the Red Spider Mite (Tetranychus telarius) commonly in greenhouse situations.

Musa species are attacked by two spotted mite and banana spider mite damaging foliage and fruit.

Juglans species can be infested with up to four types of mites including red spider.

Cultural Control

Heavy rain or irrigation can reduce numbers; some plants may benefit from replanting in cooler locations. Generally, however, infested material should be completely removed and destroyed.

Preventative measures such as removing weeds or mulching around trees or shrubs or scrubbing the loose bark of susceptible trees during winter helps reduce numbers. During spring sticky bands can be wrapped around trunks close to the ground to trap the mites.

Biological Control

Natural predators include lacewings, ladybirds and thrips help keep the numbers down. Insecticide-resistant predatory mites (Typhlodromus occidenyalis) are also available commercially to control the Two-spotted Mite only on a large scale, as they require ample mites to survive.

Chemical Control

Spraying should be carried out as a last resort as many predators are killed during the operation and spraying can have the opposite effect by increasing numbers in the long term. Dimethoate will reduce numbers; however, Two-spotted mites are resistant to insecticides in some areas. Dusting with wettable sulphur may also prove effective.


Always read the label for registration details and direction of use prior to application of any chemicals.

Helicoverpa species




     Helicoverpa species





Description of the Pest

Mature larvae are caterpillars up to 45 mm long; colour varies from yellowish-green to reddish-brown, most with stripes or darker body markings. Female moths have a wingspan up to 40 mm across, are reddish brown in colour; hindwings are pale at the base and dark along the edges.

Moths of Heliothis are very similar to that Helicoverpa armigera (Corn earworm).

Helicoverpa have a spot which is kidney shaped in the centre of the forewing,

The Adults of all species are attracted to lights at night.


The larvae are smooth and vary in colour but have light coloured strips

Life Cycle

This insect has a Holometabolous life cycle, i.e. it has a larval and a pupal stage.

Females lay up to 1000 tiny white eggs, deposited singly, on the young growth of host plants.

Larvae pupate in the topsoil, after feeding for 2-3 weeks; the emergence of adults is triggered by appropriate moisture & temperature conditions during Spring. Long periods of cold and drought can delay the emergence of the adult moths for up to 5 months.

There are two main periods of infestation early summer and autumn.

Distribution of the Pest

Helicoverpa species (Heliothis species) are found throughout Australia.

Larvae have prominent prolegs

Period of Activity

Most active in Spring and Summer, after good rainfall and vigorous plant growth.

Damage Caused

Larvae attack chew on new growth, fruit, seed and flower buds. Fruit and flowers are damaged and yield is reduced. Entry holes in fruit enlarge and become more obvious as the caterpillar matures.

Bud worms which feed inside the flower buds can cause the buds to brown and not open.

Damage to a flower bud

Susceptible Plants

Attacks a wide range of fruiting and ornamentals plants, such as gardenias, carnations, roses, calendula, hollyhocks, snapdragons, etc. This is a major pest of commercially grown tomatoes, beans,

sweet corn, cotton, sorghum and peas.

Pseudotsuga menziesii, Picea, Pinus, Pseudolarix and Tsuga species are attacked by the Spruce Budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana). Symptoms include the new opening buds and needles are eaten by the dark red caterpillar that has a yellow stripe along its side. It is a serious pest to ornamental and forest trees and control is difficult.


Cultural Control

It is difficult to control bud-worms once they enter the fruit or buds so it important to apply clay and pepper sprays or pyrethrum, while the young lava are feeding on the leaves.  Caterpillars may be removed by hand or infested flowers and fruit removed from the plant.

Biological Control

Genetically modified crops have been developed for cotton.

A virus NPV may be commercially available for cotton growers to control Helicoverpa armigera and H punctigera

Helicoverpa armigera & Helicoverpa punctigera), are parasitised by many different insects, including Chaetophthalmus dorsalis flies from the Tachinidae family.

Egg parasites include Trichogramma & Telenomus wasps

Larval parasites include         Micrropilitis demolitor, Netelia producta and Trachnid flies

Larval pupa parasites include Heteropelma scaposum and Lissopimpla excelsa

Pupal parasites include Ichneumon promissorius

Chemical Control

Control needs to occur before the larvae enter the fruit or flowers.


It is your responsibility by law to read & follow the directions on the label of any pesticide


Shake plants twice a week on to a stiff white cardboard, once they start flowering.

Other Common Names; includes

Native Budworm (Helicoverpa punctigera) Tomato grub, Cotton bollworm, Corn ear worm, Tobacco budworm

Amendments by B. Sonsie Dip Hort Sc Burnley

Various Aphid Species




     Various Aphid Species





Description of the Pest

The common name varies and aphids may be referred to as black fly, greenfly, ant cows or plant lice.

These small insects have soft globular body that is from 1mm to 8mm long and vary in colour from green, yellow, black and pink, with the winged forms being elongated. Both adult and nymphs, have piercing and sucking mouthparts.

Aphids are found on buds, flowers, or leaves and stems, preferring soft new growth. On older leaves the aphids are found in protected positions, such as under the leaf. Certain species of aphids form galls as they suck sap and may be found on the roots of the plant. (E.g. Woolly aphids and Black peach aphids)

Most aphids possess a pair of characteristic tubular projections, known as cornicles; these secrete a pheromone and a waxy fluid, which is thought to protect them from some of their predacious enemies.

White exoskeletons, honey dew and sooty mould indicate the presence of Aphids

Balsam Twig Aphid (Mindarus abietinus) is greenish and covered in a white wax and is normally found on the young shoots of conifers bending and killing the needles. It is found on Abies and Picea species.

Aphid and their exoskeletons    on underside of a leaf

Black Citrus Aphid (Toxoptera aurantii) has a soft plump green body and the black coloured adults may or may not be winged. They feed in groups, curling leaves and producing honeydew attracting sooty mould.

Green Peach Aphid (Myzus persicae) is a soft plump green insect up to 0.2mm long and may be wingless. The nymphs are yellowish green and are responsible for spreading viruses in Dianthus species.

Spruce Gall Aphid (Chermes abietis) form cone shaped galls up to 12mm long resulting from the feeding. The wingless female adult lays eggs on the stems and the immature females overwinter on bud scales. Large infestation will weaken trees such as Picea abies and Pseudotsuga menziesii.

Tulip Bulb Aphid (Anuraphis tulipae) is small, waxy grey coloured and infests the underside of the bulb scales or rhizomes. They occur in the ground or on above ground parts and during storage.

Life Cycle

These insects have a Hemimetabolous life cycle, i.e. The nymphs resemble the adults.

During spring all eggs produced hatch as female nymphs. Adult Aphids are capable reproducing without fertilisation.  The males are only produced in some species as the weather cools down, and the day length shortens.

Aphids are capable of giving birth to living young and large populations build up quickly during summer. Over crowding causes the aphids to become smaller, less fertile and produce more winged forms that can migrate to other host plants.

There are many different types of aphids and the life cycle varies from warm to cold climates.

Typical life cycles

Distribution of the Pest

World wide

Period of Activity

In warm climates they are seen throughout the year, but aphids dislike hot dry or cold conditions and heavy rain will decrease the population. In cold areas aphid eggs are laid around a bud base or other protected areas of the plant during autumn and emerge as nymphs during spring, feeding on the new growth.

Numbers build up quickly in the warmer months of the year. Some species feed during winter on Sow thistles.

Susceptible Plants

There is a wide range of plants attacked, from roses to vegetables, shrubs and trees. Certain aphids attack a specific genus while others have a wide range of host plants. Many are capable of transmitting plant virus diseases.

Adults and nymphs feeding    A colony of aphids

Acer species are attacked by several aphids including the Norway Maple Aphid (Periphyllus lyropictus) which is a greenish with brown markings and secret honeydew, preferring Acer platanoides. Other aphids include (Drepanaphis acerifolia) and (Periphyllus aceris) which are commonly found on the underside of leaves.

Acer species are also attacked by the Woolly Maple Aphid (Phenacoccus acericola) which covers the undersides of the leaves with a cotton-like mass

Alnus species are infested with the Alder Blight Aphid (Prociphilus tessellates) which is blue-black adult that forms woolly masses on the down-turned leaves. The nymphs overwinter in bark crevices.

Aquilegia species are attacked by several aphids including (Pergandeidia trirhoda) which is a small, flat cream coloured insect that is found on young branches and the underside of leaves.

Betula species may be attacked by the European Birch Aphid (Euceraphis betulae) which is small and yellowish or the Common Birch Aphid (Calaphis betulaecolens) which is large and green producing ample honeydew for sooty mold to grow on.

Callistephus species may be attacked by the Corn Root Aphid (Anuraphis maidi-radicis) causing the plant to become stunted, the leaves wilt and turn yellow. The aphids feed on the roots producing honeydew and are dispersed to other host by ants. It is also attacked by the Potato Aphid (Macrosiphum solanifolii).

Carya species are attacked by Gall Aphids (Phylloxera caryaecaulis) which is found on the leaves, twigs and stems forming galls and turning them black.

Chaenomeles and Gladiolus species, new growth and leaves become infested with the aphid (Aphis Gossypii)

Cupressus macrocarpa may become infested with the Cypress Aphid (Siphonartrophia cupressi).

Cyclamen species are attacked by the aphid (Myzus circumflexus) and (Aphis gossypii) which can infest healthy plants.

Dendranthema, Dianthus  and Crocus species are attacked by several types of aphid including the Green Peach Aphid (Myzus persicae) and the Chrysanthemum Aphid (Macrosiphoniella sanborni).

Hibiscus species are attacked by the aphids (Aphis craccivora)  and (Aphis gossypii), both congregate towards the branch tips and may cause leaf curl. Normally only seen in sub-tropical climates.

Aphids on a stem    Mandevilla species

Larix species is attacked by the Woolly Larch Aphid (Adelges strobilobius). The winged adults deposit eggs at the base of the needles during spring and white woolly areas appear attached to the needles where the adult aphids feed. The young aphids overwinter in the crevices of the bark.

Mandevilla species is attacked by aphids that congregate towards the branch tips and may cause leaf curl.

Pinus species is attacked by several species of aphid including Pine Bark Aphid (Pineus strobi), Pine leaf Aphid (Pineus pinifoliae) and the White Pine Aphid (Cinara strobi).

Primula species are attacked by four species of aphid including foxglove, and green peach aphid.

Rudbeckia, Delphinium, Chrysanthemum and Helianthus species are attacked by a bright red aphid (Macrosiphum rudbeckiae).

Sorbus aucuparia is affected by the Rosy Apple and Woolly Apple aphid which attacked the foliage and young shoots.

Spiraea species are attacked by the Aphid (Aphis spiraecola) which feeds on the young shoots and flowers.

Tropaeolum species are attacked by the Black Bean Aphid (Aphis fabae), which is found in large numbers on the underside of the leaves, turning them yellow and causing them to wilt then die.

Tulipa, Iris, Freesia, Gladiolus and Zephyranthes species are infested with the Tulip Bulb Aphid.

Ulmus species are infected by two types the Woolly Apple Aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum), which curls and kills young terminal leaves and the Elm Leaf-Curl Aphid (Eriosoma ulmi) which occasionally attacks the trees.

Viburnum species are attacked by the Snowball Aphid (Anuraphis viburnicola). This aphid congregates at the end of the branches causing the leaves to curl and become deformed under which they hide.

Aphids on Quercus robur

Damage Caused

Buds that have been attacked may not open, leaves and twigs become twisted or distorted and wilt. The aphids also produce honeydew, which is sticky and attracts sooty mould (fungus). This fungus forms a thick layer over the leaf, fruit or stems reducing the plants photosynthesis capability. The sooty mould spoils the plants appearance and its fruit, as does the insects white exoskeletons.


Cultural Control

Aphids may be removed from a plant by hosing them off with water (limited success) or applying soapy water to aphids.. Another organic sprays can be efficient in controlling aphids. Aphids  may also be removed physically by hand for small colonies on spine less plants. Species that live under ground are difficult to control but cultivation of the surrounding soil may help in controlling the infestation. (limited mainly to annual or commercial crops)

Reflective mulch around the plants also reduces numbers by repelling the insect this material is available commercially. (Reflective mulches are mainly used in market gardens for avoiding the Green peach Aphids) Resistant rootstocks are available to avoid some root feeding aphid of commercial plants, e.g. Vines and fruit trees

Biological control

Aphids are attacked by several insects includes parasitic wasps or predators such as ladybirds/ lady beetles, hover flies, lacewings, spiders.

   Parasitised aphids

Chemical Control

Aphids may be controlled by spraying with a contact or systemic insecticide. The type of application used will depend on the plant is being attacked.

Aphids can be suffocated and therefore controlled with the use of e.g. White oil, Pest oil, Soapy water from soap such as Lux Flakes ®


It is your responsibility by law to read & follow the directions on the label of any pesticide


Aphid are attracted by yellow colour and traps such as boards painted yellow and covered in glue or sticky substance will attract and trap the insects.  There is also a commercially sticky yellow tape that can be attached to susceptible plants

Amendments by B. Sonsie Dip Hort Sc Burnley

Bag Shelter Moths
Various Bag Moths Species



     Bag Shelter Moths

     Various Bag Moths Species



Description of the Pest

There many caterpillars that constructs a shelter that they live in and also acts as protection from predators. These caterpillars feed solitary or are gregarious emerging at night to feed.  The caterpillars (larva) have chewing mouth parts.

Bagworm (Thyridopterix ephemeraeformis) adult is a moth that produces caterpillars that construct a small elongated shelter from pieces of the host's leaves and enlarges to 80mm long, as the lava grows. The eggs overwinter in an old female bag and many plants are attacked such as Thuja and Abies species.

Bluegrass Webworm (Crambus teterrellus) is the larvae of the closed winged moth. Deposited bead-like eggs hatch in 10 days and the emerging lava feed on the leaves of Turf Grass. They then construct a silken tunnelled nest close to the soil and disguised with soil, leaf fragments and droppings.  The larvae pupate in a cocoon under ground for 14 days. Infested lawns such as Stenotaphrum secundatum (St Augustine) have a ragged appearance and areas may die off completely.

Forest Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) are bluish with white diamond-shaped spots along its back, feeding solitary on leaves and unlike the Eastern Tent Caterpillar nests are not built by binding twigs together, but by surrounds a single branch.

Juniper Webworm (Dichomeris marginalla) is a small larva to 12mm long and is brown with reddish brown longitudinal stripes. They form bags by webbing twigs and needles and appear during summer. The eggs are laid by a female adult moth with a wing span of 10mm and the immature larvae overwinter.

Procession Caterpillars or also known as Itchy Caterpillar (Ochrogaster contraria) is a fleshy caterpillar that grows up to 50mm long and is named because of its procession habit when moving about head to tail. It appears banded in reddish brown stiff hairs that are long and irritate skin on contact. The adult brown moth has a wing span up to 50mm across with two spots on its forewings.

Larva constructs large obvious shelters or bags using the twigs and leaves towards the end of the branches. These bags have some stiff hairs that cause irritation, old casts and have a mud brick-like appearance.

Tentmaker (Ichthyura inclusa) adult female moth is grey wings that are white striped and produces a black larva with yellow stripes. The larvae construct silken nests by binding twigs together and feed on the surrounding leaves. Commonly found in Populus species.  A simular caterpillar The Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) is found on Cherry trees.

Webbing Caterpillar is up to 25mm long with numerous black hairs along its body and constructs shelters that incorporate stems and leaves, becoming larger as the larvae grows. The silk ties are littered with debris and excrement. The adult moth is greyish with small markings on the wings.

Life Cycle

These insects have a Holometabolous life cycle, i.e. an egg, larval, pupal and adult stage

The insect commonly pupates inside the bag, some pupate in the soil.

Distribution of the Pest

Larvae are active from mid summer through autumn, regardless of the climatic conditions.

They are found throughout coastal and inland Australia but the species vary with the climatic environment.. The moths fly to new areas aided by the wind and larva of certain species walk to a new host when the old one is depleted of food.

Gregarious larvae      Typical bag shelter

Period of Activity

Larvae shelter in the bag, where they feed during the day; they leave their shelter to continue feeding at night on the surrounding foliage.

Damage Caused

Larvae eat the leaves of shrubs or trees and a heavy infestation can cause complete defoliation. Ugly bags hang or are wrapped around the plant sometimes in large numbers.  The shelters can be up to 300mm across and are constructed of twigs and leaves that are curled or joined together with silken thread, commonly look unattractive.

Leaves damaged by the larvae

Susceptible Plants

A wide range of plants are attacked by these moths and include Brachychiton , Acacia, Baeckea , Beaufortia, Juniperus, Kunzea, Leptospermum, Melaleuca  and Syncarpia species. The larva nest in the host plant or at the base and normally feed at night.

Nest at base of Acacia spp.      Hairy caterpillar

Acer, Betula, Quercus and Populus species are susceptible to the Forest Tent Caterpillar.

Cotoneaster species are attacked by Webworm (Cremona cotoneaster) lava which skeletonises the leaves.

Turf grasses are susceptible to an infestation of Sod Webworm (Herpetogramma licarsisalis). It is a sporadic pest that appears from late summer to autumn. The adult is moth is grey-brown with black spots and has wings are up to 25mm across with transverse dark wavy lines. It flies during the night depositing eggs.  The larva (caterpillars) feed on the leaves and construct a silken nest close to the ground where they live out there lives. When fully fed the larvae are up to 25mm long, green brown with dark spots displayed on its body.


Cultural Control

Cut bags from the tree during daylight and destroy.

Use gloves as some bags and larvae are armed with irritating hairs.

Biological Control

Birds and lizards help keep numbers down, but these are not commercially available.

Bacillus thuringiensis a bacterial disease of insects in the order Lepidoptera applied to leaves late in the day may reduce the number of larva

Chemical Control

Systemic, contact or stomach insecticides may be effective if sprayed onto the exposed larva


It is your responsibility by law to read & follow the directions on the label of any pesticide

Amendments by B. Sonsie Dip Hort Sc Burnley

Scale Insect
Various Scale Species



     Scale Insect

     Various Scale Species



Description of the Pest

Generally scales are soft bodied insects that have a hard (armoured) or soft covering to hide under. They have piercing and sucking mouth parts that are attached to the host, feed off sap and soft scales commonly producing sweet honeydew, which in turn attracts sooty mould and ants.

The adult female has a circular or oval covering depending on the species and is up to 8mm across. The first stage (crawlers) hatch and wander around the leaf surface until finding a suitable place to suck sap, normally in colonies and the smaller male is relatively inconspicuous.

Hard Scale                   Soft Scale, attending Ants

Cactus Scale (Diaspis echinocacti) has a circular greyish female and a narrow white male scale and is commonly found on house plants.

Chain Scales (Pulvinaria species) adult females are obvious with large group of eggs that are white or cottony-like, and the tiny young light green scales are flat and oval-shaped up to 2mm long. The legged nymphs are normally arranged from head to tail along the mid rib of the leaf, and may move to a new position to feed. They excrete honeydew and attract sooty mould and are found on Acacia and Acronychia species.

Chinese Wax Scale

Chinese Wax Scale (Ceroplastes sinensis) is a domed wax scale that has dark spots around its margin and immature scales form waxy material around there margins.

Fern Scale on Aspidistra elatior

Fern Scale or Coconut Scale (Pinnaspis aspidistrae) appears as flecks up to 0.15mm long with a white covering over the male congregating on the underside of the fronds on the axils and among the sporangia causing them to turn yellow. Many species of fern are susceptible to infestation.

                  Flat Brown Scale

Flat Brown Scale (Eucalymnatus tessellates) are light brown up to 0.5mm long, flat and closely attached both sides of the leaf and causing yellowing of the foliage.

Juniper Scale (Diaspis carueli) is tiny and circular, white maturing to grey-black and as it feeds the needles turn yellow and die.

Oleander Scale (Aspidiotus hederae) is a pale yellow circular scale up to 3mm across and is found in dense colonies on the stem or leaves.

Tea-tree Scale (Eriococcus orariensis) are a creamy blue colour normally packed along the branches and are plump and rounded to 4mm across.

                  Wattle Tick Scale

Tick or Wattle Scale (Cryptes baccatus) adult is domed, blue-slate colour with a leathery covering up to 10mm long. All stages of growth are found in groups of over forty, packed along the stems and normally tended by ants as they produce large amounts of honeydew. A serious pest of Acacia species found inland or coastal from temperate to sub tropical climates and commonly accompanied by Sooty Mould.

Toxic Scale (Hemiberlesia lataniae) is a tiny flat rounded scale up to 0.15mm long and is white to pale pink. It is normally found in colonies on the small branches and twigs of shrubs. It injects a toxic substance into the host as it sucks sap causing the death of the branch.

Wattle Scale (Pseudococcus albizziae) is soft, plump and secrets cotton-like threads. It is not a true scale insect and is simular to mealy bugs. It is reddish-brown up to 0.4mm long and secrets large amounts of honeydew as it sucks sap in colonies along the branches.

Life Cycle

These insects have a Hemimetabolous life cycle, ie. When the immature nymphs resemble the adults.

Appearance of the Pest

All parts of the plant above the soil may be attacked, but normally the stems and leaves and scale tends to favour well-lit positions.

Period of Activity

The nymphs and females are active for most of the year, in warm climates. Once they selected a position they attach and don't move. Normally the winged or wingless males are mobile and only soft scales produce honeydew.

Susceptible Plants

There is a wide range of susceptible plants including citrus, willows, holly, and many ornamentals, such as roses or Paeonia species. It also attacks indoor or glasshouse plants and Australian native plants such as wattles, hakeas, grevilleas and eucalyptus.

Acacia species are attacked by the Tick or Wattle Scale, which infest twigs and small branches and heavy infestations will kill the host plant.

Acer species are attacked by the Cotton Maple Scale (Pulvinaria innumerabilia) which prefers Acer saccharinum. Nymphs first attack the leaves and the brown adult scale is covered in a woolly mass up to 14mm across, normally found on the underside of the stems and twigs.

Acmena smithii, Melaleuca, Syzygium and Pittosporum species are attacked by the Chinese Wax Scale.

Aesculus species are attacked by several scale insects including the Walnut Scale (Aspidiotus juglans-regiae) which is saucer-shaped and attacks the main trunks.

Agave species are susceptible to several types of scale including (Aspidiotus nerii), (Aonidiella aurantii) and (Pinnaspis strachani), but generally do not require control.

Asplenium australasicum

Asplenium australasicum is susceptible to Coconut Scale or Fern Scale (Pinnaspis aspidistrae). It is normally found on the under side of the fronds. Small infestations cause little damage.

Bougainvillea species may be attacked by the soft scale (Coccus hesperidum) outdoors or under glass.

Calluna and Vaccinium species are attacked by the Oyster Shell Scale (Lepidosaphes ulmi).

Camellia species may be attacked by the Florida Red Scale (Chrysomphalus aonidum), which is small, circular and black and is found firmly attached to the underside of the leaf along the veins. On inspection after removing the scale the insect has a pale yellow body. Camellias are also attacked by a large variety of scale insects including Tea Scale and Camellia Scale.

Carpinus species may be attacked by the scale (Phenacoccus acericola). It is found on the underside of the leaves forming a white cotton-like clump along the veins.

Casuarina and Allocasuarina species may be attacked by the Casuarina Scale (Frenchia casuarinae), a black hard scale that is upright to 4mm with a pinkish body. During attachment the surrounding tissue swells up and in time can, form galls. This weakens the wood and in severe infestations may kill the tree.

Cotoneaster species are attacked by up to four species of scale including the Oyster Shell Scale (Lepidosaphes ulmi).

Cupressus species are attacked by Bark Scale (Ehrhornia cupressi) is pink and covered in white wax. Heavy infestations cause the leaves to turn yellow or reddish.

Flat Brown Scale on Cycas revoluta

Cycads, palms and some species of Callistemon are attacked by the Flat Brown Scale.

Erica species are attacked by several species of scale including, Greedy, Oleander and Oystershell scale.

Jasminum species can be infested with up to twelve types of scale.

Juniperus x media and other conifer species are attacked by the Juniper Scale.

Leptospermum species are attacked by the Tea-tree Scale which produces ample honey dew that promotes sooty mould.

Palm and Fern species are susceptible to attack by the Coconut Scale or Fern Scale (Pinnaspis aspidistrae) which infests the underside of the leaves. They are also hosts for many other scale species such as red, cottony cushion and tea scale.

Pinus species are attacked by several species of scale including the Pine Tortoise Scale (Toumeyella numismaticum) and the Red Pine Scale (Matsucoccus resinosae).

Sorbus aucuparia is attacked by a five species of scale insect, including Black Cottony Maple, San Jose and Scurfy. Generally they suck on the sap of the new growth and leaves.

Strelitzia species are attacked by the Greedy Scale (Aspidiotus camelliae).

Damage Caused

Leaves become yellow and are shed prematurely and there may be twig or stem die-back. When the infestation occurs on fruit, the fruit is small and its skin becomes pitted and cracked. Small trees and saplings that are heavily infested may be seriously damaged or die. Sooty mould can cover fruit or leaves causing a secondary problem.

Cactus Scale can completely cover the host cactus sucking sap and causing it to die.

Cultural Control

Dead or damaged parts of the plant should be removed and destroyed including fallen fruit. Small infestations may be removed by hand or squashed on the stems. Healthy plants are less susceptible to attack, so maintain vigour of the plant and avoid using high-nitrogen fertiliser that produces excessive soft young growth.

When pruning susceptible plants paint the cuts with antifungal sealant paint as scale insects are attracted to the sweet smell of the sap. This will reduce the infection rate of the plant.

Biological Control

Natural predators such as parasitic wasps may reduce numbers of active nymphs; parasitic wasps are bred commercially in some areas for this purpose. It should be noted, however, that wasps would avoid dusty conditions.

Other predators that assist in control are assassin bugs, ladybirds, lacewings, hover flies and scale eating caterpillars. A variety of birds also attack scales.

The control of ants that transport aphid from one host to another also reduces infestation and can be carried out by applying at least three greased bandages 5mm apart around the stem or trunk of the plant.

Chemical Control

Spray the entire plant with dilute white oil solution; a follow-up spray may be required after four weeks, for heavy infestations. Spraying of chemicals will also kill of natural predators and in some cases the secondary scale infestation is more prolific especially when using copper based chemicals.

Some chemical controls, such as methidathion, are available - please seek advice from your local nursery as to the suitable product for your area.


Always read the label for registration details and direction of use prior to application of any chemicals.


Twig Blight
Phomopsis juniperovora



     Twig Blight

     Phomopsis juniperovora


Phomopsis Twig Blight of Juniper is a fungus problem commonly known as cedar, juniper, or needle blight and is normally a leaf or shoot infection commonly found in young plants and on the new growth of older plants.


The tips of young needles form yellow spots and as the infection progresses from the needle to the stem the infected area turns red brown to ash grey associated with dieback. If allowed to continue the entire branch dies as the fungus mycelium progresses into the main stem. It grows rapidly along the inner bark, killing the cambium and turning the wood brown.

Liquidambar species

Lesions occur on the stems; these frequently develop into cankers at the point of healthy and diseased tissue. The canker can girdle the branch of young plants, but older plants are more resistant. Young or small plants may be completely covered in the fungus turning the plant brown.

Only immature needles are affected and when the needled turn deep dark green they are not susceptible to the disease. As the infection matures small black spots or fruiting bodies may be seen using a magnifying glass on the dries grey areas.

Source and Dispersal

The fungal spores (conidia) are dispersed by wind, insects and from infected plants or parts of plants that are trimmed from the tree. It is also dispersed by splashing water or contaminated stock. Overhead irrigation especially in nurseries is conducive to infection. The fungus will not die if the host becomes dry but will continue growing when moisture returns.

Favoured Conditions

The fungus prefers cool humid climates or 15 ° to 27 ° C (60 ° to 82° F) and is not commonly seen in warm coastal regions and may continue living in dead wood, leaf litter or harvested fruit for up to two years.

Affected Plants

Many plants are affected by this fungus such as (Thuja), species of true cedar (Cupressus), and false cedar (Chamaecyparis), European larch (Larix decidua), jack pine (Pinus banksiana), English yew (Taxus baccata), Japanese plum yew (Cephalotaxus drupacea), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga taxifolia), species of fir (Abies), and Cryptomeria japonica


Listed below are other Twig Blights generally specific to there host.

Abies species are infected by Needle and Twig Blight (Rehmiellopsis balsameae), turning the current season's needle growth reddish before dieing.

Cedrus species are infected by the Tip Blight (Diplodia pinea) that forms cankers in branchlets causing die back.

Cercidiphyllum japonicum is susceptible to the twig blight (Phomopsis species), causing disfigurement of the branches.

Cordyline species are infected by the Tip Blight (Physalospora dracaenae) that turns the leaves light brown and dry from the tips down, affecting the lower ones first.

Cornus species are susceptible to three types of Twig Blight (Myxosporium everhartii), (Cryptostictis species) and (Sphaeropsis species). These fungi form cankers or blighting on the twigs.

Euonymus species are suseptable to Phomopsis Dieback (Phomopsis species). This causes the twigs and small branches to die back and mild cases are not normally detrimental to the plants growth.

Laburnum anagyroides is infected by the Twig Blight (Fusarium lateritium) causing brown lesions to appear in the twigs and progressing to blight the leaves appearing as wet areas.

Ligustrum species are susceptible to the Nodular Gall (Phomopsis species). This fungus causes small 25mm wide galls to appear on the plant. The fungus normally gains access through moist damaged tissue.

Liquidambar species are infected by the Twig Blight (Phomopsis juniperovora) causing cankers along the stems.

Magnolia species are susceptible to the Dieback (Phomopsis species). In these trees cankers form longitudinal cracks turning the bark dark brown and the heart wood blue-grey. Currently there is no known control and heavily affected plants should be removed.

Pinus species are infected by Cenangium Twig-Blight (Cenangium abietis) attacking the current season growth.

Salix species are infected by the twig blight (Physalospora miyabeana) that forms brown spots on the leaf upper surface and whitish lesions appear on the twigs.

Sequoia species are infected by Needle Blight (Chloroscypha chloramela) which attacks the young growth.

Taxodium distichum is infected by the Twig Blight (Pestalotia funereal)  that forms small spots on the leaves, cones and bark, normally during wet periods.

Non-chemical Control

Avoid watering plants from above or wetting the foliage especially in the late afternoon. When planting allow space between each plant for good air circulation.

Remove affected foliage or wood by pruning and dispose off site. In a nursery avoid having seedlings placed alongside older stock or using Junipers as a windbreak around the nursery. When planting susceptible plants avoid poorly drained soils.

Chemical Control

Regular spraying where possible during the periods that are favourable for fungus development. Fungicides include;

Systemic types, Biteranol, carbendazim, triforine

Protectants; chlorothalonil, copper oxychloride, mancozeb, thiram, zineb


Always read the label for registration details and direction of use prior to application of any chemicals.

Fungi (General)
Various Fungal species



     Fungi (General)

     Various Fungal species


A fungus is a plant that lacks chlorophyll and conductive tissue. Generally they are made up of branched threads called 'hyphae' and collectively form a vegetative body called 'mycelium'. The fungus is small but the fruiting bodies can become very large up to 600mm across such as bracket fungi or mushrooms. Common fungi are mould and mildews. problem that attacks the roots causing them to rot.

Fungus can reproduce many ways but primarily it is asexually, simular to cuttings of a plant and often occurs with minute portions of the mycelium (spores) separating. The spores can be arranged in a structure such as a sporangia or pycnidia or develop without an enclosed structure called a "conidia". Either way the fungus propagates very rapidly.  Sexually reproduction occurs when two nuclei unite and form sexual fruiting bodies (zygospore).

Strelitzia reginae flower


Fungus attacks all the above or below ground level parts of the plant living within the tissue of the plant and are very small and not normally detected until the fruiting body appears. However parasitic types such as powdery mildew or rust are visible on the outer surface of the plant.

Fungi hyphae may be divided by cross walls and known as "septate" while others with no cross walls are known as "nonseptate". These are the fungi responsible for cell leakage as in rot.

Back Mold (Chalariopsis thielavioides) affects understocks of grafted Rosa species by inhibiting the development of callus. It is whitish-grey maturing to black and can be found in the pith of the rose stem.

Black Root Rot (Chalara elegans).This recently introduced fungal disease in Australia (1993) affect plants by blackening the root systems and turning leaves yellow or purple. It is difficult to identify specifically as other pathogenic root diseases and nutritional deficiencies have simular characteristics.  

The asexual spores are dispersed by wind or water. It is also transmitted on insects and in contaminated growing media or plants preferring humid moist conditions.

This fungus affects a wide range of ornamental plants including; annuals, perennials and shrubs. Examples are Begonia, Boronia, Camellia, Cyclamen, Fuchsia, Gerbera, Grevillea, Impatiens, Pansy, Petunia, Rosa species and Snapdragon.

Black Stem Rot (Pythium splendens) normally is a rot that occurs in cuttings turning the stem progressively black and shrunken. The leaves fall and the plant becomes stunted, eventually dieing.

Bleeding Necrosis (Botyosphaeria ribis) attacks and kills the inner wood causing the bark to split open and bleed sap giving it an oily appearance.

Blight (Endothia parasitica) is a serious pest of Castanea species, entering the twigs and small branches, and then progressively travelling throughout the tree killing it. It may form cankers on the base of the trunk or in the dead branches above with the amber coloured fruiting bodies pushing there way through the bark.

Copper Web ((Rhizoctonia crocorum). This fungal disease appears in defined patches causing the corms in the centre to become a black powdery mass. Corms on the outer ring of the patch that are partially infected forming a felty mass of violet threads on the corm scales. These threads extend into the soil and large sclerotia forms in the soil and on the corms. Healthy corms become infected from contaminated soil that contains mycelium and sclerotia.

Dry Rot (Phyllosticta concave) forms small circular spots that increase to a diameter of 30mm, and then becomes sunken as the cells collapse. The infected area develops minute black fruiting bodies.

Dutch Elm Disease (Ceratocystis ulmi) is a serious fungal problem of Ulmus species that initially causes yellowing then wilting of the leaves that turn brown and die. This may be seen on certain branches of the tree and on inspection under the bark the sapwood reveals brown streaks. A cross section of the affected branch displays round spots that are dark brown. This infection normally spreads quickly throughout, killing the tree in one to two seasons.

Dieback in Camellia (Glomerella cingulate) is a pathogenic fungus that infecting existing wounds such as leaf scars or mechanical damage, forming a sunken area (canker) that spreads around the stem causing die back. The affected plant has new shoots that are brown-black and the tips curl, forming a 'Shepard's Crook' appearance. The leaves also die but are persistent on the plant and the spores are found in soil or on other infected plants.

Curvularia Leaf Spot (Curvularia species) in Turf Grass. This is normally a secondary weak fungal infection that forms spots on the leaves that lengthens turning the leaves greyish. The leaf shrivels then dies and infected areas appear as weak patches in the turf. Preventive measures include minimising leaf wetness and excessive use of nitrogen fertiliser.

Fairy Rings Blue Couch     

Fairy Rings are a fungal problem in Turf Grass and is caused by several species including (Lycoperdon species), (Marasmius species) and (Tricholoma species). Rings appear in the turf as fruiting bodies or dead grass and as lush green foliage. The mycelia expand radially in the turf feeding on soil nutrients and organic matter with water present.

Under severs conditions the mycelia consume all available nutrients resulting in the death of the turf. Lush turf can result from a less developed infection, where the decomposing hyphal releases nitrogen. This available nitrogen may be beneficial to the turf but some forms of nitrogen are detrimental.

Leaf Blister (Taphrina coerulescens) appears as yellowish circular raised areas on the upper side and depressions on the underside of leaves, up to 15mm across. As the fungus spreads the leaf dies but remains attached to the tree and this infection is commonly found on Quercus species..

Leaf Blotch (Guignardia aesculi) forms small or large water soaked spots that are reddish with a bright yellow margin and form black fruiting bodies in the centre. The affected leaf and petiole have a scorched appearance before falling, found on Aesculus species

Grevillea robusta     Leaf Scorch

Leaf Scorch (Verrucispora proteacearum) is a fungal disease that infects leaves causing large parts of the leaf to turn grey-brown, giving the appearance that it has been singed by fire. Black fruiting bodies appear on the affected areas and the leaf soon withers then dies. New, mature leaves are affected during very wet periods towards the end of the branches and Grevillea and Hakea species are susceptible.

Melting Out (Helminthosporium vegans) forms bluish black spots with straw coloured centres on the leaves and may be found on the sheath, encircling it causing Foot Rot. It infects grasses particularly Poa pratensis. There is another fungus that is simular Helminthosporium Blight (Helminthosporium dictyoides) that infects Poa, Festuca and Agrostis species.

Pad decay (Aspergilus alliaceus) infects Cereus and Opuntia species and occurs at during periods of high temperature.  The yellow spores at the epidermal layer through wounds and germinate on mass causing the area to become soft and spongy. An anthracnose called Shot Hole is a similar forming brownish spots the turn grey, and then black destroying pads. Control methods include physically removing damaged pads and allowing the Sun to heal wounds.

Potato Gangrene (Phoma foveate) is a soil borne fungus that infects the roots during harvest primarly through wounds and develops during storage. The potatoes rot from the inside forming rounded depressions on the surface and have a strong odour of rotten fish.

Root Rot Fungi (Phymatotrichum omnivorum) and (Pellicularia filamentosa) cause the roots to rot and the plant suddenly wilts then dies.

Root Rot (Pythium debaryanum) forms water soaked dark brown streaks that affect all parts of the plant causing wilting then dieing. It infects Ranunculus species, it also infects cactus species by forming brown spotting and wilting that appears at the base of the plant then extends towards the top. It quickly spreads from plant to plant in collections and is controlled by avoiding over watering, excessive humidity and are using a sterilised soil when potting up.

This fungus also is responsible for damping off of seedlings in a glasshouse environment.

Spring Dead Spot     

Spring Dead Spot (Leptosphaeri species) is a fungal disease that infects Couch Grass. It first appears during autumn as pale bleaches areas up to 500mm (20in) wide and persists throughout winter. In spring the affected areas do not recover or recover slowly and on inspection the roots or rhizomes are rotted. Runners from the surrounding healthy turf will help with recovery and all signs of the problem disappear by mid summer.

Cactus species      Pachypodium species

Stem Rot (Helminthosporium cactivorum) forms well defined yellow lesions that mature into soft dark brown rot. It commonly infects Cactus species entering through the stomates or wounds. Heavily infected plants collapse and die.

Stem Rot or Basal Rot (Pellicularia rolfsii) is a soil borne fungus that infects the stem root junction and extends into the leaves. In orchids the leaves become discoloured, dry and detach from the base which is covered in a fungal growth that produces sclerotia. The sclerotia is whitish to yellow then becoming dark brown and can be viable for up to four years.

White Mold  (Ramularia desta f. odorati) occurs on both sides of the leaf and looks simular to powdery mildew but forms faint dull, reddish brown elongated spots on the leaf that may be depressed or along the margin where they have a watery appearance. Tufts of hyphae develop in the stomates.

Wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum) causes leaves to curl then turn brown and the sap wood may also turn brown or black. Heavy infection may kill a tree within two seasons and is found on Quercus species and other ornamental trees.

Witches Broom may be a fungal problem that causes a proliferation of small axillary shoots to appear at the end of the branches. Little is known about this problem, though it affects a wide range of plants including Eucalyptus, Leptospermum and Pinus species.

Source and Dispersal

Fungus is found in the soil or on other infected plants and after releasing the spores, they are dispersed by wind or are transmitted in infected stock, insects and with splashing water.

Wilt is transmitted by infected root stocks, several species of insect and contaminated tools.

Dutch Elm Disease is transmitted by bark beetles such as (Scolytus multistriatus) and (Hylurgopinus rufipes). These beetles deposit eggs in the sapwood where the lava tunnel and pupate. The emerging beetles tunnel the bark and carry the fungus to fresh feeding sites on the tree. Infected beetles may also be transported to fresh sites in waist material.

Favoured Conditions

Prefers cool moist conditions with temperatures from 10º to 25ºC and is more common from autumn to spring when it is wet.    


Affected Plants

A wide range of plants and all parts can be infected by various fungal diseases. Bleeding Necrosis is found in Liquidambar species and Stem Rot or Dry Rot infects Cactus species such as Opuntia and Pelargonium.

Abies species are infected by several fungi that cause Leaf Cast which turn the needles yellow to brown then fall prematurely.

Abutilon species are infected by the Stem Rot (Macrophomina phaseolin) affecting the lower stems and is not commonly seen.

Achillea, Cuphea, Leucanthemum, Euphorbia species are infected by the Stem Rot (Pellicularia filamentosa) which enters through the roots and rots the base of the stem.

Alternanthera species are infected by the Leaf Blight (Phyllosticta amaranthi) which forms small brown spots on the leaves causing them to curl and die.

Aloe, Astrophytum, Copiapoa, Echinocactus, Espostoa, Ferocactus, Gymnocalycium, Kalanchoe and Schlumbergerera species are infected by Bipolaris Stem Rot (Bipolaris cactivora). This infection affects many cacti species causing rot in the stems with a blackish appearance.

Amelanchler is affected by the Witches Broom (Apiosporina collinsii).

Antirrhinum species are infected by the Blight (Phyllosticta antirrhini) that forms light brown spots on the upper-side of the leaf and on the stem. As the spots enlarge they turn greyish with black fruiting bodies in the centre, then become brown and killing the affected areas.

Begonia species are infected by the Stem Rot (Pythium ultimum) turning stems black then becoming soft and causing the plant to collapse. This is the same fungus that causes Damping-off.

Betula species are affected by the Leaf Blister (Taphrina bacteriosperma) which curls the leaves and forms reddish blisters.

Chamaedorea and other cain-like species are infected with Gliocladium Stem Rot (Gliocladium vermoseni) which forms a dark basil stem rot generally on damaged plants and produces orange-pink spores.  The mature leaves are first affected and eventually the stems or cains rot and die.

Crocus and Gladiolus species are infected by the Dry Rot (Stromatinia gladioli), which causes lesions on the corms and rots the leaf sheath.

Crocus, Iris, Tulipa, and Narcissus species are infected Copper Web ((Rhizoctonia crocorum).

Dianthus species are infected by Phialophora Wilt (Phialophora cinerescens) that causes the leaves to fade and plants to wilt. There is obvious vascular discoloration which is very dark. It is not found in Australia.

Erythrina x sykesii may be infected by the Root Rot Fungi (Phymatotrichum omnivorum).

Fern species are infected by Tip Blight (Phyllosticta pteridis). This blight produces ash-grey spots with purple brown margins and the fruiting bodies appear as black pimple like spots.  It is transmitted by air or moisture and in infected fronds become brown and die.  Control methods include sprang fungicide on leaves or reducing humidity and avoid wetting the fronds.

Forsythia species are infected by Stem Gall (Phomopsis species). It forms rounded growths along the stems causing them to die and look unsightly.

Gladiolus species are infected by Penicillium Rot of Corms (Penicillium gladioli). This disease forms deeply sunken reddish brown areas that become corky and produce a greenish fungal growth.

Hedera species are susceptible to several Fungal Leaf Spots including (Glomerella cingulate), (Phyllosticta concentrica) and (Ramularia hedericola). All of which cause yellowish spots that develop into dry brown blotches that kill the leaf.

Larix species are susceptible to Leaf Cast (Hypodermella laricis). This fungus attacks the needles and spur shoots turning them yellow at first then brown after which small black fruiting bodies appear on the leaves during winter.

There are several other fungi including (Cladosporium species) and (Lophodermium laricis) cause leaf blight or leaf casts.

Orchids such as Cattleya, Cymbidium, Cypripedium, Dendrobium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis and Zygopetalum species are infected by Phomopsis Rot (Phomopsis species). This fungal problem forms a firm brown rot that appears on the leaves, pseudobulbs and rhizomes. The affected areas have yellow margins and the centre is covered in tiny black specks (fruiting bodies). Cattleya species are particularly susceptible. These plants are also infected by Psudobulb Rot (Mycolleptodiscus coloratus implicated). Dark spots appear on the pseudobulbs eventually causing extensive rot and killing the bulb.

Palms are infected by the fungus Butt Rot (Ganoderma sulcatum). The fungus entered the lower trunk normally as a result of mechanical damage (lawn mower). Symptoms include stunting of new growth and yellowing of the lower leaves. Fruiting bodies become evident at the base of the trunk. There is no effective control method and replanting in infected soil should be avoided.

Kikuyu Yellows     

Pennisetum clandestinum (Kikuyu) is susceptible to Kikuyu Yellows (Verrucalvus flavofaciens), thisis a water mould that infects the roots and causes them to rot. The infection extends up the stem and onto the leaves with yellow discolouration and can be limited to a small or large area up to 1m (3ft) wide.

It is found in warm temperate to sub tropical regions and dispersed in infected soil or plant material. There is no chemical control, nitrogen fertiliser masks the symptoms and complete fertiliser encourages stronger roots to fight the disease.

Pittosporum, Antirrhinum, Aquilegia, Echinops and Orchid species are infected by the Stem Rot or Basal Rot (Pellicularia rolfsii) commonly in the northern hemisphere and preferring humid glasshouse conditions.

Solidago species are infected by the fungal Scab (Elsinoe solidaginis) which covers the leaves and stunts the growth of the plant. Young plants may be killed.

Trillium species are infected by the stem rot (Pellicularia rolfsii) and ( Ciborinia trillii). This normally occurs in wet soils and is detrimental to the plants life.

Tsuga species are infected by Sapwood Rot or Butt Rot (Ganoderma lucidum) and (Coniophora puteana), which attacks the sapwood close to the bark, towards the base of the tree. Commonly killing the host.

Tulipa species are affected Blue Mold (Penicillium species) and the fungus (Rhizopus stolonifer) causing rot in the bulbs.

Vinca species are infected by the soil born Root Rot (Pellicularia filamentosa) which rots the stems and roots.

Viola species may be infected with the Scab (Sphaceloma violae) which attacks all parts of the plant including the seed capsule forming yellowish spots that turn brown and in leaves fall out. Stems and petioles can be girdled killing the upper part.

Viola species are also infected with the Stem Rot (Myrothecium roridum) which attacks the stems at ground level causing them to become dry and brittle. The leaves show symptoms by turning purplish-black and this fungus also infects Alcea and Antirrhinum species.

Non-chemical Control

Generally remove and destroy any infected plants or plant parts, when replanting, avoid using susceptible species for 3 years.  When growing crops space the plants to reduce the humidity and airflow and cultivate the soil to increase the drainage.  Remove weed growth from around the susceptible plants.

Avoid over watering the surrounding soil which encourages fungal development. In the case of trees remove any infected branches and heavily infected trees should be cut down and removed. This infected material should be disposed or burnt. Damaged trees should have the wounds dressed and sealed as a preventative measure particularly for Dieback in Camellia.

Deter Potato Gangrene by planting clean stock and be careful not to damage the crop when weeding. When harvesting the tubers choose a dryer period and be careful not to damage them.

     Fairy Rings

Fairy Rings in Turf are difficult to control and may appear or disappear sporadically. Cultural practice such as minimal thatch build-up, regular aeration and a reduction of organic matter spread on the turf will reduce infection.

Chemical Control

No suitable fungicides available, though drenching or spraying the soil with the fungicide dichloran helps control soil born fungi.


Always read the label for registration details and direction of use prior to application of any chemicals.

Rust (General)
Various Rust Species




     Rust (General)

     Various Rust Species



Generally this fungal problem involves many species causing a range of symptoms, but generally produces pustules that release reddish - brown spores. Most fungus is specific to its host and normally will not infect other plant species.





The upper leaf surface develops red, brown or yellow areas and the underside produces bright yellow to orange spores that correspond to the patches above.  Infested leaves become brown in patches, fall prematurely and flower and fruit may also be infected.  This overall, results in a loss of vigour and in small plants may lead to death.  


Pelargonium x hortorum


Myrtle Rust (Puccinia psidii) This fungal disease infects plants in the Myrtaceae family and was only recently detected in 2010 and has since spread across eastern Australia from the Northern Territory to Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. This rust attacks soft and actively growing foliage or shoots with varying symptoms. It normally starts as small purple spots on the leaves from which spores form in yellow pustules that fade to grey as the infection matures and can merge creating leaf distortion and death of the plant. 

The life cycle starts when the powdery yellow spores are distributed by wind to other plants where they germinate and start to grow by piercing the plant cells to obtain nutrients. Germination occurs in dark moist positions with a temperature between 15° to 25°C and the new pustules can release spores in 10 to 12 days, (spores remain viable for 3-months). The spores spread rapidly by wind, water, insects or animals. They are also distributed by plant material, clothing, shoes and vehicles.


 Puccinia psidii



Needle Rust (Melampsora farlowii) infects the new leaves turning them to yellow and fall from the shoot giving the branch a scorched appearance. The fruiting bodies are found on the underside of the leaf and is waxy-red.



Rust in Poplar (Melampsora species). A fungal problem involving at least two species (Melampsora medusae) and (Melampsora larici-idaei).

The upper leaf surface becomes flecked with yellow to light green and the underside produces bright yellow orange spores that correspond to the patches above.  Infested leaves become brown in patches, fall prematurely and shoots may die back as a result of not being hardened off to the elements.  This overall, results in a loss of vigour and in small plants may lead to death.  

The source of the fungus is from other infected plants or fallen leaves and is dispersed by wind.

Host plants include Lombardy Poplars particularly Populus nigra 'Italica' and cottonwoods.



White Rust (Albugo candida) forms snow white pustules that contain colourless spores that turn yellow then brown and are found on the underside of leaves.


White Pine Blister Rust (WPBR) is caused by the fungus (Cronartium ribicola). It is a obligate parasite requiring a living host to survive. The life cycle requires two host species with part of it life on the Pinus species and the other part on Ribes species. First cankers or sores appear on the Pinus species realising spores that land on the Ribes species infecting it. The infection produces a different type of spore that land on the needles and growing branches of the Pinus species and eventually forming cankers. The spores are spread by wind and prefer cool moist conditions. Symptoms include brown spots on the needles and the appearance of dead branches in the crown. Cankers will also appear on the trunk and it tends to attack young trees. Control methods include removal of Ribus species in the affected areas and breading naturally resistant Pinus species.


The Rust (Endophyllum sempervivi) affects Sempervivum species by infecting the young leaves and eventually the crown. The mycelium then travels to the roots and extends into any off shots. Leaves that are infected turn yellowish, grow longer and are thin. Persistent infection may kill the plant.


Source and Dispersal

The source of the fungus is from other infected plants or fallen leaves that contain the fruiting bodies and is dispersed by wind.


Favoured Conditions

Generally rust is more prevalent during summer, preferring warm humid conditions and particularly when the leaves are damp.


Affected Plants

A wide range of ornamental annuals, perennials, ferns, trees, shrubs including, Hibiscus species that are infected by Kuehneola malvicola predominantly in southern USA.


Abies species are infected by many types of rust including (Milesia fructuosa) and (Uredinopsis mirabilis).


Abutilon, Phymosia and Alcea species are infected by the rust (Puccinia heterospora).


Alnus species are occasionally infected with Leaf Rust (Melampsoridium hiratsukanum) which forms yellowish pustules on the leaves that develop turning the leaf brown.


Amelanchler species and Calocedrus decurrens are infected by several rust species including (Gymnosporangium libocedri).


Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) is infected by the rust (Puccinia antirrhini). This fungal problem that infects the epidermal layer on the leaf underside, forming pale green areas that are raised and split open revealing reddish brown spores that have a dusty appearance.  

As the infestation grows, concentric rings of spore pustules appear around the original infection.  The corresponding position on the upper leafs surface turns yellow eventually causing the leaf to wilt and die.  The infestation is not restricted to the leaves; all above ground parts of the plant are susceptible and infected plants transmit the fungus dispersing it by wind.

Infected plants should be removed and destroyed.


Anemone and Prunus species are infected by the rust (Tranzschelia pruni-spinosae) that stimulates abnormal growth in the plant during spring.


Aquilegia, Anemone, Delphinium and Clematis species are infected by the Rust (Puccinia rubigo-vera var. agropyri).


Arctostaphylos manzanita is infected by the rust (Pucciniastrum sparsum) occurring in coastal regions but is not normally detrimental to the plant.


Artemisia species are infected by the rust (Uromyces ari-triphylli) which is a systemic disease that is transmitted through seeds. It causes the leaves to turn yellow then die and can infect all parts of the plant except the roots.


Bambusa species are infected by the rust (Dasturella divina) which forms elongated brownish strips on the leaves.


Berberis species may be infected by the Rust (Puccinia graminis) that forms orange spotting on the leaves. It certain regions plants infected with this rust must be removed and destroyed to avoid infecting neighbouring agriculture crops.


Betula species may be infected by Leaf Rust (Melampsoridium betulinum) that forms reddish-yellow spots on the leaves and heavy infestation can defoliate the tree. The host tree changes to Pseudolarix species during the sexual stage and causes blistering of the leaves.


Calendula species may be infected by the Rust (Puccinia flaveriae).


Callistephus and Solidago species may be infected by the Rust (Coleosporium solidaginis) which forms bright yellow spots particularly on new foliage or young plants.


Canna species may be infected by the rust (Puccinia Thaliae).


                  Canna indica


Centaurea species are infected by the rust (Puccinia cyani) and (Puccinia irrequisita) which can cover the stems and leaves.


Cleome species are infected by the rust (Puccinia aristidae) but rarely requires control.


Dianthus species are infected by the rust (Uromyces dianthi) which forms powdery brown spots that appear on both sides of the leaves. The leaves curl and die and the plant becomes stunted. This is a common problem that occurs when grown in a protected enclosure (hot house).


Ficus species are infected by the rust (Cerotelium fici) which forms small brown spots, and causes the leaves to turn yellow then fall prematurely.


Fuchsia species are infected with (Pucciniastrum epilobii). This fungus caused purplish red blotches on the upper leaf surface, that become dry in the middle and result in a brown patch with purple edges.  On the underside of the leaf, corresponding to the patches, yellow orange spores form.  Heavily infected leaves become yellow and drop prematurely.  This leads to a loss of vigour in the plant and infected plants transmit the fungus.  

Certain cultivars are more susceptible than others, particularly 'Orange Drops' and 'Novella'.


Hydrangea species is infected by (Pucciniastrum hydrangeae) causing yellowish brown pustules to appear on both sides of the leaf. The leaf becomes dry and brittle.  


                  Iris species


Iris  and Dietes species are very susceptible to the rust (Puccinia iridis). Leaves form rusty red powdery spots that enlarge. They are appear on both sides of the leaves causing the surrounding area to turn pale yellow then brown and the black spores appear soon after, overwintering on dead infected leaves. Plants may be heavily infected but normally survive attack.


Larix species are infected by several Needle Rusts including (Melampsora paradoxa), (Melampsora medusae) and (Melampsoridium betulinum). The fungi attacks the needles predominantly towards the branch tips turning them yellow and eventually killing them . The underside of the leaf develops pale yellow fruiting bodies.


Lupinus species are infected by three species of rust including (Puccinia andropogonis var onobrychidis).


Malus andChaenomeles species may be infected by the rust (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae) or (Gymnosporangium clavipes) which forms brown or bright orange spots on the leaves or twigs and can defoliate the tree. Juniperus virginiana and Mespilus germanica may also be infected by rust.


Mathiola and Arabis species are infected by White Rust.


Pinus species are infects by the Comandra Blister-rust (Cronartium comandre).


Plumeria acutifolia


Plumeria species are susceptible to the rust (Coleosporium plumeriae). Leaves and flowers may be infected with the underside forming bright yellow pustules and causes premature leaf or flower drop.


Populus nigra 'Italica' is infected by the rust (Melampsora species) which forms pustules to form on the leaves turning them brown and causing premature leaf drop.


Rhododendron and Tsuga species are infected by the rust (Pucciniastrum vaccinii) and is commonly found in nursery stock, spreading rapidly. Tsuga species are also infected by Needle Rust.


Ribes species are infected by the rust (Cronartium ribicola). This leaf rust appears on the underside of the leaves (preferably older leaves) forming dusty brown pustules and is a serious problem. This rust only appears when White Pine (Pinus strobes) grows near where the alternate stage of the fungus occurs.


Rudbeckia species are infected by several species of rust including (Puccinia dioicae) and (Uromyces rudbeckiae).


Salix species are infected by four types of (Melampsora species).


Senecio, Bellis and Calendula species are infected by the rust (Puccinia lagenophora) which forms blister-like pustules that release brown spores.


Sorbus aucuparia is affected by several rust from the (Gymnosporangium species) causing circular yellow spots, that appear on the leaves during summer and develop into orange cup-shaped fruiting bodies.


Trillium species are infected by the rust (Uromyces halstedii) that damages the leaf surface.


Festuca arundinacea      Rust


Turf Grass are susceptible to rust (Puccinia species) and (Uromyces species), causing yellow flecks to appear on the stems and leaves. These markings enlarge before the pustules form and in severs cases the lawn has a yellow, red or brown appearance.

The infection appears from spring to summer under humid low light conditions and turf that is under stress or with excessive nitrogen in the soil is more susceptible. Many species may be infected including Lolium perenne (Perennial Ryegrass) and Poa pratensis (Kentucky Bluegrass).


                  Rust on Perennial Ryegrass


Viburnum species are mildly affected by two types of rust (Coleosporium viburni) and (Puccinia linkii).


Viola species are infected by the rust (Puccinia violae) which forms green spots on the underside of the leaves. It is not commonly seen on cultivated plants.


Non-chemical Control

Cut off and destroy any infected branches, fallen leaves and remove heavily infected plants. Improve the culture by, pruning to improve air circulation, allow space between plants and avoid over crowding.  Avoid planting susceptible species.  Plants that are infected with a systemic form should be removed and destroyed


Chemical Control

Not possible to spray large trees but young plants may be treated with a protectant fungicide such as wettable sulphur. In a domestic garden small plants such as Fuchsia species may be sprayed with a protectant chemicals as symptoms appear, aided by the removal of existing infected leaves.  Under commercial conditions stock may be sprayed with a fungicide such as oxycarboxin.


Always read the label for registration details and direction of use prior to application of any chemicals.

Canker (General)
Various Canker Species



     Canker (General)

     Various Canker Species


This is a fungal problem that enters the plant through wounds causing dieback of twigs and stems.


The stems become discoloured (pale brown) usually from a pruned point, working its way down the stem and normally intersecting or surrounded with live cambium. The bark splits or cracks, foliage dies and infected areas can develop tiny black fruiting bodies. Heavy infected plants eventually die, though certain varieties are resistant halting the spread of the infection.


Black Canker (Phyaslospora miyabeana) forms dark brown spots with concentric rings on the upper leaf surface and grey spots on the stems. The tiny black fruiting bodies develop in the stem lesions. It is found on Salix species and persistent attacks will kill the tree.

The Canker (Cytospora valsa) causes the browning and death of branches in Picea abies and Picea pungens. This infection occurs normally from the base of the tree with infected needles falling, and white resinous patches appearing on the bark accompanied by cankers with tiny black fruiting bodies.

The Canker (Corynneum cardinale) is a casual fungus that invades wounds and infects living bark and associated cambium turning the foliage yellowish. As it spreads it girdles the branch killing it and ultimately the top of the tree dies out. Cankers eventually form in the trunk and ooze resin. It is found on Cypress.

   Platanus x hybrida

Cankerstain (Ceratocystis fimbriata f. platani) forms sunken cankers on the trunk and large limbs forming longitudinal cracks and roughened bark. Infected areas form callus around the margins which dies off and when cut open, dark coloured streaks are revealed extending to the central pith. These streaks then radiate out into uninfected wood resulting in the thinning of the crown and producing unusual small leaves. It is normally transmitted through poor tree surgery techniques and infected tools.

Cytospora Canker

Cytospora Canker (Cytospora chrysosperma) is a casual fungus that infects the young twigs, then moving to the stems, branches and trunk causing brown sunken areas to appear that is covered in red pustules. The fungus tends to attack trees that are in poor health. Control requires the removal of infected branches and improved culture to regain the plants vigour. Sorbus aucuparia, Salix and Popular species are susceptible.

Cypress Canker

Cypress Canker (Seiridium species) enters the plant through wounds or through insect damage causes the bark to spread revealing brown powdery spores that are accompanied by oozing resin. The canker eventually girdles the branch or trunk causing ringbarking and the death of the plant.

Nectria Canker (Nectria Cinnabarina) forms cankers on the twigs and small branches producing red fruiting bodies and eventually killing the tree. It is found in many parts of the world infecting a range of trees including hardwoods.

          Populus nigra

Poplar Canker (Cryptodiaporthe populea) infects the cambium layer damaging the bark and sapwood where the elongated sunken canker forms. Branches are girdled causing the upper portion to die off. This is a serious problem for Populus nigra var. Italica entering the plant through wounds or the leaves then spreading to twigs and branches. Control is difficult as removal of infected parts will not eradicate the problem, but encourage it. Young plants may be sprayed with a copper based fungicide to reduce leaf infection and heavily infected plants should be removed the burnt.

Stem Canker of Red Flowering Gum (Sporotrichum destructor) enters through wounds in the bark forming cankers in the trunk and branches, splitting the bark apart, revealing the wood and infesting the surface with powdery spores. This infection causes the leaves to wither and then the branches die, eventually killing the tree.

Stem Canker (Strumella coryneoidea) is a casual fungus that forms on the trunks of trees as a smooth, dispersed or sunken infection. On mature trees the infection sheds the bark with the canker forming callus tissue around the margins and the centre being exposed. These cankers then tend to extend up and down the trunk, only girdling over a long period of time. It is found on Quercus, Fagus, Aesculus species, and Acer rubrum , Nyssa sylvatica, Carya ovata and Morinda citrifolia.

Source and Dispersal

The spores are found on infected dead plant material and can be dispersed by wind and with splashing water.

Favoured Conditions

It prefers a warm humid conditions and plants that have a wounds derived from poor pruning techniques and insect or other damage, especially if water is allowed to settle on the wound.


Affected Plants

Cankers may infect a wide range of trees and shrubs with some species being specific to its host. Examples are listed below.

Abies species are infected by several cankers including (Cytospora pinastri), (Cryptosporium macrospermum) and (Scoleconectria balsamea). These fungi form dead sunken areas on the trunk and branches.

Alnus species are infected by a few cankers including (Nectria coccinea) and (Physalospora obtusa) these attack the branches causing die back.

Betula species may be infected by the Canker (Nectria galligena) that occurs in the forks of trees causing splitting and cracking of the bark by swelling, to reveal the canker. Callus rings may form around the affected areas as a defence mechanism triggered by the tree.

Buxus species are infected by the Canker (Pseudonectria rousseliana) which shows signs of poor new growth during spring with the leaves turning from light green to a tan colour. These leaves tend to lay flat along the stems and reddish pustules appear both on the stems and leaves. The bark becomes loose and on inspection reveals a darkish colour underneath. It is difficult to control and the canker can kill the plant.

Castanea species are infected by the Twig Canker (Cryptodiaporthe castanea), a fungal problem that causes significant damage to the twigs and small branches, but tends to attack stressed trees.

Cercis and Ribes species are infected by the Canker (Botryosphaeria ribis) which forms small sunken areas on the stems causing wilting and eventually killing the branch by girdling. The cankers turn the bark black then split it open and the adjoining wood becomes discoloured. This is a serious problem for this and many other plant species.

Cotoneaster, Betula, Catalpa and Aesculus species are infected by the canker (Physalospora obtusa).

                  Cypress Canker

Cupressus species and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana are susceptible to Cypress Canker (Seiridium species) which causes leaf browning and then girdles the trunks resulting in ringbark. There is also another Canker (Coryneum cardinale) that has simular characteristics and is found in the northern hemisphere.

Cupressus sempervirens is infected by Cytospora Canker (Cytospora cenisia var. littoralis).

Larix species are susceptible to several fungal cankers including (Trichoscyphella wilkommii), (Trichoscyphella ellisiana), (Aleurodiscus amorphus), (Leucostoma Kunzei) and (Phomopsis spp.)

Nyssa sylvatica is attacked by three cankers including (Strumella coryneoidea).

Pinus species are infected by many types of cankers.

Platanus species are infected by Cankerstain.

Cytospora Canker on Salix babylonica

Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas Fir is attacked by several cankers including (Cytospora species), (Dasyscypha ellisiana), (Dasyscypha pseudotsugae), (Phacidiopycnis pseudotsugae) and (Phomopsis lokoyae). These infections normally do not require control and are more prevalent on the coastal form.

Salix and Populus species are infected by several cankers including Cytospora Canker (Cytospora chrysosperma), Hypoxylon Canker (Hypoxylon pruinatum), Septoria Canker (Mycosphaerella populorum) and Branch Gall (Macrophoma tumefaciens). Many of these fungi can cause the death of the plant.

Thuja orientalis, Cupressus and Juniperus species are infected by the canker (Corynneum cardinale).

Tilia and Acer species are infected by (Nectria cinnabarina) attacking twigs or branches.

Tsuga species are infected by several cankers including (Dermatea balsamea) and ( Cytospora species).

Ulmus species are infected with up to eight fungal cankers including (Apioporthe apiospora) and (Nectria coccinea).

Vaccinium ovatum is infected by the canker (Coryneum microstictum) which attacks the stems.

Vinca species are infected by canker-dieback (Phomopsis livella) causing the shoots to wilt, turn brown and die. This can reduce the plant to ground level, and normally occurs during rainy periods.

Non-chemical Control

It is very difficult to control and correct pruning techniques with sharp tools for repairing wounds or prune well below the infected areas. Ensure that there are no ragged edges on the cuts and the angle should cut allows water to run off or dress the wound. Plant resistant varieties when available. Heavily infected trees should be removed to avoid spreading the disease.

Improve the culture of the affected plant to increase vigour for greater resistance.

Chemical Control

There is no satisfactory chemical control and prevention is imperative.


Always read the label for registration details and direction of use prior to application of any chemicals.

Armillaria Root Rot, Honey Fungi
Armillaria luteobubalina



     Armillaria Root Rot, Honey Fungi

     Armillaria luteobubalina



This naturally occurring fungus grows between the bark and wood of trees producing distinctive cream sheets of hyphae. The toadstool-like fruiting bodies are yellowish brown and appear from the soil or sprout out of the base of the host plant.

Image by Dr Brett Summerell


This is a vigorous fungus that attacks the roots of trees and is not normally noticed until dieback starts to occur. Affected plants generally appear declined, with some dieback and by this stage; the disease may be well established. Leaves can turn yellow, shrivel and fall from the plant and the branches die back. Citrus trees may produce a heavy crop of fruit just before death. Splits often occur on the trunk of affected trees and the bark may lift revealing white sheets of mycelium or hyphae under the bark. These hyphae will have a distinctive "mushroom" smell. Affected roots become spongy, powdery or jelly-like and when dissected reveal similar white sheaths under the bark. Infected plants may survive for many years before final death of the tree.


Image by Dr Brett Summerell

Source and Dispersal

This fungus is a native species that is naturally found in Eucalyptus forests and woodlands throughout eastern Australia and south-western Australia. It is commonly found on old tree trunks and decaying wood where honey coloured toadstools appear from the base of the host or surrounding soil in May-June. The toadstools produce white spores that are dispersed by wind, but generally the fungus spreads underground through contact between infected and uninfected roots. The fungus can grow about 1-1.5 metres per year along a root. This species, unlike those in the northern hemisphere does not produce rhizomorphs, thick strands that are flat resembling shoe-strings.

Mycelium on wood     

Image by Dr Brett Summerell

The fungus is not spread by contaminated soil as it only grows in root material. Spread to new sites is either through spore movement (very rare), movement of infected plants or through movement of contaminated wood chip used for mulch. Dead or dying trees should be inspected for the presence of this pathogen prior to use as mulch.

This fungus can survive for many years in infested root and stem material depending on the size of the material and speed of decomposition of the wood.

Favoured Conditions

This fungus prefers sandy soil types and is more frequently found in more freely drained soils. Moisture is required for growth of the fungus along the root system. Generally the damage caused to plants is greater on plants that are already under stress or weakened. The retention of infested root systems and stumps in the soil has contributed to an increase in the occurrence of this disease.

Affected Plants

The host range for this fungus is extremely wide and includes many ornamentals and Australian native plants. Fruit trees and perennials are also commonly attacked. The most susceptible species include oaks, camellias, azaleas, roses and eucalypts.

Amaryllis, Narcissus and Hippeastrum species are also infected.

Cedrus species trunk     

Image by Dr Brett Summerell

Cedrus species are also affected by Armillaria root rot causing the roots to rot and the trunk to swell and spilt open. There is no control for these infections.

Non-chemical Control

Control of this disease is totally dependent on removal of the inoculum of the fungus from the soil. To be effective this will require removal of the infested roots and stem, a process that may be difficult in garden beds. Infected plants should be removed and disposed of, but it is not necessary to remove the surrounding soil as the fungus only occurs in the plant.  When clearing affected land for cultivation, remove all stumps and roots and allow 2 to 3 years prior to replanting.

Trees that are in the early stages of attack may be saved by removal of the affected roots and leaving remaining roots exposed for several years. Top soil around the trunk should also be removed for a distance of up to 1m and affected trees should be fertilised and watered to encourage vigour.

Chemical Control

There is no practical or effective chemical control. Fumigation has been carried out to eradicate the fungus but success is dependent on the removal of large sources of inoculum. However many of the chemicals used for this purpose are highly toxic and have restricted usage now.


Always read the label for registration details and direction of use prior to application of any chemicals.

Amendments by

Dr Brett Summerell
Director Science and Public Programs
Royal Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney

Leaf to 20 mm (3/4 in) long
Male strobili

Plant Photo Gallery - Click thumbnails to enlarge

Climate zone

This Plant tolerates zones 5-9

Average Lowest Temperature : -5º C 23º F

USDA : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

This USDA hardiness zone chart can be used to to indicate a plant’s ability to withstand average minimum temperatures. However, other factors such as soil type, 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.

Plant's individual USDA zone can be found in the Plant Overview...

Climate Description

Cool Temperate
This zone has low winter temperatures and moderate summer temperatures with low humidity and cool nights.Frosts are severe with snow at higher altitudes.
Drought rarely occurs and wind is cold inland or wet on the coast.

Plant growth

Cool weather plants grow well.


Dictionary Growth Habit
Leaf Type Botanic Flower Description
Leaf Shape Flower Inflorescence
Leaf Arrangement Fruit Type
Leaf Margin Bark Type
Leaf Apex And Bases Flower Description