White mold (Cottony rot, Sclerotinia stem rot)
Sclerotinia sclerotiorum

Hosts and symptoms

Common hosts of white mold are herbaceous, succulent plants, particularly flowers and vegetables. It can also affect woody ornamentals occasionally, usually on juvenile tissue. White mold can affect their hosts at any stage of growth, including seedlings, mature plants, and harvested products. It can usually be found on tissues with high water content and in close proximity to the soil. One of the first symptoms noticed is an obvious area of white, fluffy mycelial growth. Usually this is preceded by pale to dark brown lesions on the stem at the soil line. The mycelium then cover this necrotic area. Once the xylem is affected, other symptoms occur higher up in the plant. These can include chlorosis, wilting, leaf drop, and death quickly follows. On fruits, the initial dark lesions occur on the tissue that comes in contact with the soil. Next, white fungal mycelium covers the fruit and it decays. This can occur when the fruit is in the field or when in storage.