Myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) is a serious fungal disease that affects plants in the Myrtaceae or myrtle family. Plants in this family include the iconic pōhutukawa, mānuka and rātā as well as some common garden plants such as ramarama and lilly pilly.
Myrtle rust has been found in Northland, Waikato, Te Puke, and Taranaki. It is also widespread on Raoul Island in the Kermadec group north-east of Northland.
It is found in many parts of the world including New Caledonia and all along Australia’s eastern seaboard.
If you think you’ve seen myrtle rust, don’t touch it, take a photo, and call the Ministry of Primary Industries on 0800 80 99 66.