Chocolate spot

Botrytis fabae


Chocolate spot is caused by two Botrytis fungi. Botrytis fabae is the most common cause and only affects broad beans. Botrytis cinerea can cause very similar symptoms, and this fungus also causes grey mould on a very wide range of plants. Chocolate spot can be very damaging, in some cases causing flower loss, with severe attacks resulting in whole plant collapse. It is worse in cool, damp, overcrowded conditions. This disease appears from late winter on autmn sown crops, but is seen from mid-spring on spring-sown broad beans.

No other beans including runner and French beans are affected, although common vetch and agricultural field beans sometimes used as green manures can be infected.


You may see the following symptoms:

Small round, red-brown spots on all parts of the plant.

Under favourable conditions these spots expand aggressively and leaves shrivel.

Stem infections may cause the plants to collapse.