Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Problems with Live Oak in Boerne TX
April 24, 2011 - I had my large Live Oak trimmed last year. This spring there seems to be a problem with leaf growth. Most leaves are small in nature and appear to have been attacked possibly by bugs. Many of the bran...
view the full question and answer

How are NPIN Deer Resistance Ratings Determined?
May 06, 2014 - If your plant data-base (which is the best thing since sliced bread!) is silent on the degree to which a plant is deer-resistant, does this mean you just don't have enough information to make the cal...
view the full question and answer

What causes peach fruit to ooze sap?
July 27, 2009 - I have a peach tree at our new house. The peaches are small and yellow but appeared healthy. Now it looks like they are oozing or weeping sap out of several places on each one. I dont know if its a di...
view the full question and answer

Pill bugs in potted plants in Atlanta GA
June 14, 2013 - Hello, I repotted four aloe vera plants two days ago with a cacti soil and watered them thoroughly in terra cotta pots according to directions on the bag. Well the next morning the pots had pill bug...
view the full question and answer

Aluminum foil disorienting insects under plants from Brierfield AL
April 20, 2011 - Does covering the ground under plants frequently attacked by flea beetles with aluminum foil really disorient the insects? But does it also disorient beneficial insects?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.