En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 04, 2009

From: Boston, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Identifcation of strange orange growth on shrubs
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have found a strange orange ball shape with softer spikes about 1-2 in. growing from it on my shrubs, they grow around the branch. I believe they are Yews. I have never seen them before but now there are 2 baseball sized ones and a few starting. The bush was trimmed a week ago but they are growing a few inches into the bush. I do have a few pictures. PS they are located in Cape Cod MA

ANSWER:

This sounds like the fungal disease Cedar-Apple Rust (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae) that is a serious problem for apples since it can defoliate the tree and affect fruit quality, but causes few problems for junipers and cedars except cosmetic ones. The orange structures with spikes are called telia and occur only on the cedars/junipers and produce spores that infect the apple host.  The spores produced on the leaves of the apple infect the cedars/junipers.  Here are more photos and information from Oklahoma State University, Colorado State University, and Cornell University.

If this is not what you found on your tree, please send us your photos and we will do our best to identify these growths.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions on submitting photos.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Need plants to replace cedars on a 40 degree slope in Boerne, TX.
August 28, 2012 - My backyard is a roughly 40 degree slope that is covered with cedars. The slope is basically all rock, what can I grow here to replace the cedar which drink too much water. I would still like the area...
view the full question and answer

Cenizo for border of school garden from Cedar Park TX
January 27, 2014 - Hi. We're starting a school garden in Central Texas, and instead of building a fence along one side, we'd like to plant a hedge. Ideally, it would grow tall enough to deter deer from jumping over, b...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen shrub for Dallas
May 03, 2007 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Dallas and I am trying to look for a native evergreen shrub that blooms and works well in full to partial sun. I thought about "lantana" and/or a "firecracker", but...
view the full question and answer

Non-native astilbe resemblance to non-native poisonous castor bean from Tomslake BC
May 21, 2014 - I have a plant that looks like a castor bean but it has flowers like a Younique Silvery Pink Astilbe. Need to id because castor bean is poisonous. This plant grows up to 5 feet in height. Thank you !
view the full question and answer

Wilting stems on beautyberry in Georgetown, TX
August 16, 2009 - Last summer I discovered that a 4-year old beautyberry had one (of many) stems that died. Leaves on this single stem wilted and dried up. This year the same happened to two or three stems. The rest of...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center