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Update on Arisaema Rust

  • Subject: Update on Arisaema Rust
  • From: "mossytrail" <mossytrail@hctc.com>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 17:28:10 -0800

   Some of you may remember several weeks ago I wrote
inquiring about orange rust on Arisaema.  The reply I got
off-list was that the usual way to deal with this is to
discard affected plants.

   Here is the updated situation.  Because I am at a
temporary address, I kept the plant in its pot.  With the
changeable weather this spring, I kept the plant in an
east-facing sunroom, where I figured the temperatures would
be slightly more even, and the direct sun in the morning
would warm the sunroom.  In this environment, I have found
that the plant's leaves show none of the distortion usually
caused by the rust (which I observe in the wild-growing
plants in the woods).  I cut off the inflorescence after it
faded, so the plant could conserve energy by not producing
fruit.  The rust spots seem to have dried to a whitish
color, and most could be easily rubbed off with a thumb.

   In the woods, I observe that the rust is very patchy: in
a cluster of three or four closely-spaced plants, likely
divisions, there will be at most one plant with the rust,
the others unaffected.  I have not seen the rust on its
other host, the may-apple, which is even more abundant than
Arisaema.

   I do not yet know whether the sunroom plant's response is
significant, but I intend to continue the experiment.

Jason Hernandez
Naturalist-at-Large
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