markwilson's picture

Giant ergot

Observed: 19th October 2012 By: markwilsonmarkwilson’s reputation in Fungi and Lichensmarkwilson’s reputation in Fungi and Lichensmarkwilson’s reputation in Fungi and Lichensmarkwilson’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens
porlock oct 2012 052

Ergot seems to produce very large infections on Spartina - I have taken this to be var spartinae but have no evidence other than the host plant
Do hybrid grass species with poor seed set still get heavy ergot infections?


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Species interactions

No interactions present.


Olag's picture

Heavy ergot infections on hybrid spartina

Hi Mark,

In Northern Germany, a botanist has raised an issue about ergot infection of spatina, even making it into national news. According to the botanist, massive infection of ergot on Spartina anglica may pose risks to grazing sheep or even playing kids. Although this fear seems exagerated, it shows that hybrids seem to be infected. However, S. anglica is a rather fertile hybrid, which can now be found all along the coast of the German Bight.

Btw, would it be possible to upload the picture on Wikimedia Commons (which would require a CC-Licence) as I would like to use it to illustrate a Wikipedia-Article on Spartina?

Best regards

markwilson's picture


Have often wondered if there is any link between ergot infected grass and footrot in sheep - if blood supply to extremities is limited.

markwilson's picture

ergot photo

If you cant get permission for photo let me know and I will email you one


Olag's picture

ergot /photo

Hi Mark!

Thank you for your comment. This is interesting and I did not think of it. Officials in Germany try to calm people down by saying "no dead sheep have been found" as yet. But ergotism has other, earlier and probably more common symptoms.

Concerning the photo, downloading it is no problem for me, but before using it for Wikipedia I'd need your permission per mail as holder of the copyright. Also, I did not yet understand how to send other ISpot-members an email / personal message.