Myrtle rust - Puccinia psidii

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
  • dieback
  • stunted growth
  • plant death.

Myrtle rust has been confirmed in:

  • New South Wales
  • Queensland
  • Victoria
  • Tasmania
  • Northern Territory
on host Myrtaceae plants.

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
  • fruit
  • germplasm
  • seed
  • 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:

Download the Myrtle rust fact sheet (PDF 298.0 KB).

Related information

Read more about Myrtle rust on these websites:

Page Last Reviewed: 25 Jun 2019
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