Which of these are growing in your garden?
Worldwide, there are 3000 species in the Myrtaceae family. Of these, more than 2200 species are native to Australia. This is almost 10% of Australian plant species - but because they are large plants, all trees or shrubs, any disease which affects them widely could have a major impact on our landscapes.
The species are grouped into approx 70 genera. I have noted here which genera have been affected by myrtle rust in Queensland, at time of writing .
Native to Queensland:
Acmena Lillypillies AFFECTED
Anetholia (was Backhousia)
Archirhodomyrtus Rose Myrtle
Austromyrtus Including Midyim BADLY AFFECTED
Backhousia Including Lemon Myrtle, Curry Myrtle...
Baeckia Twiggy bush
Callistemon The red, pink and white bottlebrushes.
Calytrix Fringe Myrtle
Choricarpia Scrub ironwood
Corymbia Gumtrees and bloodwoods
Decaspermum Silky Myrtle AFFECTED
Eucalyptus Gumtrees, Boxes, Ironbarks, Stringybarks, etc
Eugenia Lillypilly AFFECTED
Gossia Including Python tree, Thready Barked Myrtle, 'Aurora', and 'Blushing Beauty' AFFECTED
Harmogia (Also known as Babingtonia, Baeckia...)
Homoranthus Mouse and Honey Bush
Kardomia (Also known as Babingtonia, Baeckia...)
Leptospermum All those lovely tea trees
Lophostemon Brush box, Swamp box,
Melaleuca The bottlebrush tea trees and paperbarks AFFECTED
Micromyrtus Fringed Heath Myrtle
Ochrosperma (Was known as Baeckia)
Pilidiostigma Plum Myrtle AFFECTED
Rhodamnia Malletwood or “Turpentine” BADLY AFFECTED
Rhodomyrtus “Native guava”, finger cherry, rose myrtle AFFECTED
Sannantha (were called Baeckia, Babingtonia...)
Syzygium Lillypilly, including riberry
Triplarena Heath Myrtle (Was Baeckia)
Tristaniopsis Water gum, Kanooka, includes “Luscious” and other cultivars.
Uromyrtus Includes “Weeping Beauty”
Verticordia Feather flowers
Waterhousia Includes weeping lillypilly, “Sweeper”...
Xanthostemon Penda AFFECTED
Native to other parts of Australia - a shortlist.
Popular plants in gardens include:
Agonis Willow myrtle, “After Dark” AFFECTED
Chamelauceum Geraldton Wax AFFECTED
Euryomyrtus Rosy Baeckia
Tristania neriifolia Water Gum AFFECTED
For a full list see
Myrtle rust has not been found in Tasmania. Let’s be very careful about not taking it there. In the worst -case scenario, it could become the only place where some of our now-common Australian plants survive in the wild!
Native to other parts of the World - a shortlist.
Here are some foreign Myrtaceae which are seen in Australian gardens.
Eugenia Brazilian cherry, Surinam cherry
Psidium All guavas AFFECTED
Syzygium jambos AFFECTED
Metrosideros New Zealand Christmas Tree AFFECTED
See http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/4790_19789.htm for details on all Myrtaceae species affected so far in Australia, including information on which are the most highly susceptible.