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
1 rating

Friday - September 20, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests
Title: Green cyst-like growths on Texas persimmon leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have a mature Texas persimmon. We just noticed some green cyst-like growths on the tops of some of the leaves. The undersides of those leaves have black spots where the growths are. They looks like they could be eggs, but we are puzzled by this. Is this something to be concerned about, and should we treat it? Thanks.

ANSWER:

If you will look at the photo on the Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) species page, you will see that some of the leaves on the tree in that photo have cysts similar to those you describe.  These are called leaf galls.  One possibility for these galls is Aceria theospyri [synonym = Eriophyes theospyri] (Persimmon Leaf Blister Gall).  Here is a description from the Florida Bureau of Entomology.  Persimmon leaf blister gall isn't caused by an insect, but by a mite—a relative of ticks.   Galls are growths by the plant in reaction to the insect or mite laying an egg in its tissues or to an insect or mite feeding on the plant's tissues.  This article (Gall-Making Insects and Mites) from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and this one (Insect and Gall Mites) from University of Minnesota Extension Service both say that galls are not usually deleterious to the plant.  They may result in early leaf fall, but, in general are not especially harmful to the plant.  They usually don't warrant any control measures such as chemical spraying.   Indeed, spraying them after the galls have formed is not effective since either the damage is done and the insect larvae is encased within the gall or the feeding process has been completed.

In answer to your specific questions, you shouldn't be especially concerned about the galls and treating them would most likely be ineffective.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

More Pests Questions

Red spider mites in native bluebonnets in Austin
April 02, 2008 - What would you do if the WFC bluebonnets developed a bad case of red spider mites? That is what has happened to many of mine here in Austin. I noticed them the other day and I must have been asleep be...
view the full question and answer

Possible disease on Eastern Redbud
October 06, 2007 - Our Eastern Redbud appears to be suffering from our recent drought. The leaves are turning brown in July/August on a few branches. A few black spots appear on the leaves before they turn brown. Ot...
view the full question and answer

Century plant leaves falling over from San Antonio
April 10, 2013 - Have a large century plant about % feet tall. The leaves are falling over. Can you tell me what to do to avoid this.
view the full question and answer

Falling Balls from an Oak in Kingsland TX
May 25, 2015 - I have a large Live Oak in the back yard, with St. Augustine grass under it. It is April 3, 2015. The leaves have fallen and now little tiny round balls are falling. I am hearing a popping noise und...
view the full question and answer

Texas Ash secreting sap in Lockhart, TX
July 05, 2012 - I have what I believe is a Texas Ash in my front yard that is secreting a sap with what looks like some wounds on it with some white stuff and with black and red looking ants as well as it has a lot o...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center