Myrtle rust is a disease caused by the exotic fungus Austropuccinia psidii (formerly Puccinia psidii, initially identified as Uredo rangelii). Overseas there are known to be several strains of P. psidii. At this stage Australia has only one strain.
It develops in damp moist conditions and occurs mostly in areas of high rainfall.
It affects trees and shrubs in the Myrtaceae plant family that includes:
- bottle brush - Callistemon spp.
- tea tree - Melaleuca spp.
- eucalypts - Eucalyptus spp., Angophora spp. and Corymbia spp.
The disease can cause:
- deformed leaves
- heavy defoliation of branches
- stunted growth
- plant death.
Myrtle rust has been confirmed in:
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
Areas at risk of Myrtle rust
The high rainfall coastal areas of South Australia are most at risk of Myrtle rust including:
- South East, Kangaroo Island
- Fleurieu Peninsula
- lower Yorke Peninsula
- lower Eyre Peninsula.
In drier areas myrtle rust can occur in microclimates created in nurseries, glasshouses and some home gardens.
Importing Myrtaceae plants into South Australia
Myrtaceae plants and plant material from a state in which Myrtle Rust has been detected must be certified to enter South Australia. This includes:
- nursery stock
- cut flowers
- tissue culture
See condition 26 of the South Australian Plant Quarantine Standard (PQS).
Report suspected cases of Myrtle rust
Report suspected cases of Myrtle rust by:
- Calling the Emergency Plant Pest Hotline: 1800 084 881
- Or submitting the online plant pest report form.
Download the Myrtle rust fact sheet ().
Read more about Myrtle rust on these websites: