Myrtle Rust can cause a very serious disease in Australian native plants
in the Myrtaceae family. This includes plants like bottle brushes, tea
trees and eucalypts. The fungus causes the plantsí leaves to deform and
it may kill the plant. Because this is newly discovered, the full extent
of the disease is yet to be understood.
Myrtle Rust has already
impacted on recreation access and led to the realignment of trail routes
to quarantine infected areas as land managers try to limit the spread
of this pathogen.
Myrtle Rust produces distinct powdery bright
yellow (sometime orangey-yellow) spores on the leaves, stems, flowers
and fruits. Lesions on the plant can be purple or dark brown.
you see an infected plant, do not touch it and never collect a sample.
Take a photo and note your location. To report suspected incidences of
Myrtle Rust call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.
there is any chance that you have come in contact with the fungus,
change into fresh clothes and wash your hands, face and footwear to
prevent it spreading and clean your shoes with a 70% methylated spirits
or benzyl alkonium chloride disinfectant.
After any engagement
with our natural areas, always clean your clothes, shoes, and equipment
(including tent pegs, vehicles, horses) to prevent the spread of a wide
range of diseases.
Help stop the spread of this exotic pest that
has now been discovered in many locations across New South Wales and Queensland.
LEARN MORE on the Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service website