Thistle's picture


Observed: 25th July 2013 By: ThistleThistle’s reputation in Fungi and LichensThistle’s reputation in Fungi and LichensThistle’s reputation in Fungi and LichensThistle’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens

Rusty, red-brown spots on Broad-leaved dock (Rumex obtusifolius). Fungal infection affecting most of the docks on the site.
Edit: changed to match Alan's ID. Many thanks.


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Species interactions

No interactions present.


dejayM's picture


I am placing a comment because I'd like to keep it in my Track.
I have agreed because it is the result of Ramularia infection and if Alan says it not the identifiable fungus, it's good enough for me!!
I have three sorts of Rumex, all of them show dark lesions of some sort. I'll get to the case. suggests there are a good number of species - rubella isn't one of them! Neither is pratensis, so obviously I need to do some reading!!

AlanS's picture


Maybe I should provide a little more information on the state of play in Ramularia.

For most people, the only ready source of information is Ellis & Ellis, 'Microfungi on Land Plants'. The book has its faults, sometimes leading people to make hasty and rash identifications based simply on host plants without careful examination of the fungus itself, but it was an impressive and incredibly useful compilation. Unfortunately, even the somewhat revised second edition was published in 1997, while the current, definitive monograph on Ramularia was published in 1998. Consequently, not all Ramularia entries in Ellis & Ellis are correct or comprehensive. Notably, host information for those on Rumex is incomplete and misleading, while in buttercups (Ranunculus), the description of "R. didyma" actually applies to R. simplex, while what is called "R. aequivoca" is now understood to be the true R. didyma.

For all that, Ellis & Ellis is a good place to go for Ramularia, provided people do the microscope work and measure conidia.

The "current, definitive monograph on Ramularia" referred to above is that by Uwe Braun - "A monograph of Cercosporella, Ramularia and allied genera (phytopathogenic hyphomycetes). Vol 2. This is a splendid though technical book, but probably not at the top of everyone's shopping list. It includes over 300 Ramularia species, not all British of course, though we do have a lot of species. It is generally my source of information for anything I write. The British Mycological Society's database, FRDBI, with one or two lapses, follows Braun.

The Wikipedia page is a remarkably poor effort, IMHO. It contains minimal information and the photograph of "Ramularia rubella" shows young lesions on the top surface of the leaf and not the fungus. It could equally well be R. pratensis.

Classification of fungi is based on sexual stages, but many fungi produce such stages very rarely or seemingly not at all, so a parallel classification based on asexual stages also exists - based on morphologically defined "form genera". Ramularia is such a "form genus". Evidence from DNA and ultrastructure now allows the placement of asexual species within sexually defined genera and we are likely to see many Ramularia species transferred to Mycosphaerella. However, Ramularia is a convenient entity and I don't see it being abandoned for many years, in the same way I don't predict rapid dropping of the form-genus Penicillium!

dejayM's picture

"...Ramularia is a convenient entity.."

The value of placing a comment, or perhaps (if you the dreaded filter ticked) an agreement, is that you see gems like this - pity those not so few 72 others (now we have a counter) who may not see it.
Thanks again Alan; I will always be able to find it in my track, or under a broader Ramularia search.
I am genuinely interested though and notice it appears to be absent from Scotland here>>GBIF portal<< but via the NBN link, everywhere!. As for Wiki, well they always seem to be waiting for someone like you to write up!
Now see this, please: 35 reads and only one agreement on such a simple and uncomplicated organism - er, isn't it?.

AlanS's picture


Yes, when I wrote this, I knew it would have limited readership, but I plan to use it in another context.

I have now seen and added agreement to your Rhytisma salicinum - I have seen it only on Salix caprea in very unpolluted areas. Very interested to see it was on your Salix herbacea.