An exotic plant disease now in Victoria
Myrtle Rust (Uredo rangelii) is a serious fungal disease affecting the plant family Myrtaceae, which includes many Australian natives commonly found in Victorian gardens and parklands.
Myrtle Rust is widespread on the eastern seaboard of New South Wales (NSW) and in south-east Queensland, on over 150 properties and 150 Myrtaceae species of plants. Locations range from commercial plant nurseries, public gardens, parks and streetscapes to large areas of bushland.
Under the right conditions, Myrtle Rust may slow regeneration of native forests after harvesting or bushfire and could, in extreme circumstances, change forest biodiversity.
On 6 January 2012, Department of Primary Industries Victoria (DPI Victoria) confirmed that Myrtle Rust had been found in Victoria. On 5 April, it was confirmed that Myrtle Rust had been detected in the Future Garden section of the Australian Garden at RBG Cranbourne. This section of the Australian Garden is closed to the public until further notice however, the remainder of the Australian Garden remains open.
What is the RBG doing?
The RBG is continuing to implement its Myrtle Rust Protocol to protect both the Melbourne and Cranbourne sites from the threat of Myrtle Rust.
The RBG is an active partner in working to support DPI Victoria to contain the spread of the disease in Victoria. The RBG Myrtle Rust Working Group has been instrumental in assisting key partners, including other botanic gardens around the state, to develop management strategies that will help restrict the spread of the disease and minimise its impact.
What can you do?
Please do not bring plant material into the Gardens.
If you think you may have Myrtle Rust on your plants, please report it to DPI Victoria by calling 1800 084 881 or email photos of the suspect material, together with a contact phone number and the plant's location, to email@example.com.
To avoid spreading the disease, do not touch, move or collect samples of the suspect plant.
Links and further information
Further information about Myrtle Rust can be found on the DPI Victoria website at www.dpi.vic.gov.au.
Last updated 17 Apr 2012