Spring black stem

Phoma medicaginis

Numerous spots develop on the lower leaves, petioles, and stems. The disease produces small black spots on the leaves which eventually turn the leaf yellow, resulting in chlorosis and eventually cell death. Spots are usually worse on older leaves. Stem lesions are dark brown to black and may cut the stem all the way around its surface. Lesions on stems enlarge and may blacken large areas near the base of the plant. Affected stems are brittle and easily broken. When at its worst, entire stems can be blackened and killed. This can cause spread of the disease to the crowns and roots, also turning them black. When the fungus extends into the crown and root, it can cause crown and root rot.

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