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 Diseases and Disorders Questions

Whitefly infestation in roses and salvia
June 15, 2007 - Several of my outdoor plants (including Knockout roses and salvia) have a white residue on the stems. If I touch it a white bug jumps off. The residue can be wiped off or sprayed off, but the little...
view the full question and answer

Drought-resistant and grub-resistant grass for Smithville TX
October 02, 2012 - I want a drought resistant grass for a sunny area that is also resistant to grubs. I have lots of grubs but want a healthy soil of good microbes. Any ideas? Zoysia, Buffalo? I noticed that Tech Turf r...
view the full question and answer

Declining wax myrtles in Katy, TX
August 24, 2009 - My wax myrtle bushes were thick and green except for a few on the NE side 6 months ago when we bought the house. Now they are thin, leggy, and dropping leaves like crazy. They seem to be dying one bra...
view the full question and answer

Help for Collapsing Tradescantia
August 14, 2013 - My tradescantia has completely collapsed at the crown. The stems are yellowish. This happened once before when I had it planted in full sun and I just had to discard it. This time I have one plante...
view the full question and answer

Overwatering and fertilization of whiteleaf manzanita
July 27, 2007 - Hi, I have an Arctostaphylos Dr. Hurd, southern California coast, several years old, 10 feet, that has a few large branches with yellowing and spotted leaves... also dropping many. causes? remedy? sh...
view the full question and answer

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