We have been made aware of the growing concern about myrtle rust by our friends at many of Auckland's plant nurseries.
Myrtle rust is a serious fungal disease that affects plants in the myrtle family. Plants in this family include pohutukawa, manuka & also feijoa and guava.
The spores are easily spread by wind and via insects, birds, people or machinery, making it very easy for it to spread.
Severe infestations can kill affected plants and at this stage it isn't known just how big an impact it could have in New Zealand.
Identifying myrtle rust
Myrtle rust only affects plants in the myrtle family.
It generally attacks soft, new growth, including leaf surfaces, shoots, buds, flowers, and fruit.
Symptoms to look out for on myrtle plants are:
If you think you've seen the symptoms as in the photo above, contact the MPI Exotic Pest & Disease Hotline on 0800 80 99 66. DO NOT TOUCH as you risk spreading the spores further.
If you are planning to plant