Puccinia myrsiphylliCommon name: Bridal creeper rust fungus
Distribution: Found on bridal creeper, Asparagus asparagoides, plants.
Description: Yellows spots or flecks on the upper surface of infected bridal creeper leaves. Orange pustules develop on the underside of the leaves. The pustules turn black as summer approaches.
Remarks: The bridal creeper rust fungus was released in Australia as a biological control agent for bridal creeper, Asparagus asparagoides, in June 2000. It is host specific and doesn’t infect any other plant species.
The bridal creeper rust fungus obtains nutriens and water from its host thereby weakening it and reducing its ability to reproduce.
The rust fungus is not systemic and must reinfect the plant each growing season. The fungus spores survive the summer protected by a brown-black pustule. The spore becomes active with the autumn rains but may take several weeks to show an effect on the plants.
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