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Last Update 08/29/12
Plumeria Rust Disease

 Coleosporium domingense syn C. plumeriae

Plumeria Rust Fungus, Frangipani Rust Fungus

Plumeria leaf damaged by Rust Fungus
Plumeria leaf damaged by Rust Fungus
(click image to enlarge).

Frangipani Rust usually affects Plumeria (including: P. acuminata, P. acutifolia, P. alba, P. clusioides, P. rubra, P. obtusa, and P. variegata) in late summer and early autumn in Florida especially during and after very rainy periods.


Description of Coleosporium Infection

Small orange pustules appear on the underside of leaves. They rupture and spread spores which pass the disease to other leaves on the plant and other Plumerias growing nearby. The upper sides of the leaves become discolored. The entire leaf turns brown then falls off. Severe infections may cause the leaves to drop prematurely and tend to defoliate the plant.

Microscopic view of Coleosporium domingense infecting plumeria leaf cells. Click Image to enlarge.

Microscopic view of Coleosporium domingense infecting plumeria leaf cells.

Apparently the fungus invades the epidermis of the leaf, feeds on leaf cells and spreads throughout the leaf by rupturing leaf cell walls. The orange pustules are fungal bodies that produce spores which are spread by wind and rain.

Frangipani fungus growing on underside of leaf

Plumeria leaf killed by rust disease.

Frangipani fungus growing on underside of leaf
(click image to enlarge)

Plumeria leaf killed by rust disease.
(click image to enlarge)


Control of Frangipani Rust

There are no fungicides listed for use by the home gardener for control of Coleosporium domingense.

Limited control may be achieved by removing infected leaves as soon as the orange pustules are apparent and disposing of those leaves in the trash.

A foliar spray of the friendly fungi Verticillium lecanii has been found an effective control in research carried out at the University of Florida. Unfortunately this friendly fungi is apparently not currently available commercially for purchase by the home gardener.

As Frangipanis are normally deciduous, they will lose their leaves anyway as the cooler months approach and the problem will not reappear until the wet season the following year. Coleosporium domingense does not affect Plumeria flowers.




Sources: BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF FRANGIPANI RUST WITH VERTICILLIUM LECANNI; First Report of Plumeria Rust, Caused by Coleosporium plumeriae, in Thailand; Frangipani rust

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