About myrtle rust

Rusts are a kind of fungal disease that affect plants. Myrtle rust is a fungal disease that only affects myrtle plants.

Click on the pages below to learn more about myrtle rust in New Zealand.

What to do if you find myrtle rust

It is important to understand where the rust has spread to and where it is active.

What is a myrtle plant?

Myrtles are a type of evergreen tree, shrub or vine common to New Zealand that are a food source for many native birds, lizards and insects. Learn more about the plants that are susceptible to myrtle rust here.

What is myrtle rust?

Myrtle rust is a fungal disease that only affects plants in the myrtle family. Find out more about myrtle rust and what it looks like here.

Where is myrtle rust?

Myrtle rust has spread to most areas of New Zealand that are climactically suitable for the disease to grow. Find out where myrtle rust has been found and where myrtles are in New Zealand.

How does myrtle rust spread?

Myrtle rust spores are microscopic and can travel large distances by wind, or via insects, birds, people, or machinery. Learn more about how myrtles can become infected here.

What's the risk from myrtle rust?

Myrtle rust affects the new growth of infected plants. These trees might not be able to regenerate and due to repeated infections over time can eventually die. Learn more about how myrtle rust affects infected plants here.

History of myrtle rust in Aotearoa New Zealand

Myrtle rust is widely distributed across much of the North Island and in the north and west of the South Island. This timeline tracks its spread across the country, and efforts to manage the disease and safeguard New Zealand’s myrtles.