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Myrtle Rust found in Kaipātiki

Myrtle rust is a wind borne fungal disease that severely attacks iconic plants in the myrtle family including pōhutukawa, mānuka and rātā. It can usually be identified as yellow powdery spots on leaves. This disease is notoriously difficult to contain but there are actions we can take to protect our native species, including what plants we choose to grow. Removing non-native plants in the myrtle family can help, such as monkey apple, bottlebrushes, and eucalyptus trees. These plants can spread the disease and do not help our native bush. You can also choose to plant alternative native species, such as mapou, tawhirikaro, nikau, or kowhai. For more info and photos visit DOC’s myrtle rust page. One key way you can help is to send photos of suspicious fungal infestations to iNaturalist, so that the size of the problem can be better understood. Email us for more info on Myrtle rust

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