Mayapples - Yellow spots

Asked June 7, 2020, 1:42 PM EDT

Hi - I have Mayapples in a few places. They have yellow spots, as shown in the attached photo, in only one place. Is this a disease or early senescence? If it is a disease, do I just pull all of these out? If I do, can I plant others there or would there be a danger of contamintion of the new plants from soil, or possibly from plants regrowing from roots that have not been completely removed? Is there a danger of me transfering this disease, if it is a disease, from plant to plant on my hands or gloves or by soil from these plants, or even their roots if I am pulling them? Thanks!

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

This is mayapple rust, a fungal disease. It is worse in wet, cool springs but can be seen every year. It disfigures the leaves but it will not kill the plants. It is not transmitted through the roots but by fungal spores that splash or blow onto the leaves.
You do not have to pull the plants out but as the leaves dieback rake them up and dispose of them to reduce the inoculum. You can spread the spores to other mayapples you have planted by the methods you mention (gloves, hands, tools) but not by roots.
Please refer to the following,

http://hyg.ipm.illinois.edu/pastpest/200603a.html

Deb