Myrtle Rust in the Wet Tropics

Myrtle rust is now established in North Queensland—the disease has been detected in plant nurseries, private gardens, national parks and forests.

The hot, humid conditions of tropical North Queensland encourage the rapid spread and development of this fungal disease. North Queensland is also home to more of the potentially susceptible plant species (from the family Myrtaceae) than are found elsewhere in Queensland. These two factors make myrtle rust a major threat to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Myrtle rust causes deformed leaves, heavy loss of branches, plant dieback, stunted growth and even plant death. The disease could not only affect plants but the animals that rely on them for their homes and food. For information on symptoms see recognising myrtle rust.

Which parks are affected?

A number of parks and forests in the Wet Tropics have been affected. Information is provided on the web page for each park and forest affected by myrtle rust to allow you to plan for your visit. Signs have also been placed in these parks and forests.

Preventing the spread of myrtle rust

The spread of myrtle rust by natural means, such as wind, can’t be controlled, but its accidental spread can be minimised. See myrtle rust and park visitors for further information.

Full impacts of this disease are not yet known and information about where it is found and the species of plants it affected is vital. Report all sightings to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or fill out the online form.