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Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae

[ Urediniomycetes > Uredinales > Pucciniaceae > Gymnosporangium . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae, known to foresters and apple farmers as Cedar-Apple Rust, is not the kind of fungus that usually crosses the radar screens of mushroom hunters. It is a "rust," but unlike many rusts it creates a large and, well, freaky-looking fruitbody during part of its life cycle.

It appears in spring in eastern North America, throughout the range of the Eastern Red Cedar, which it attacks as a parasite. The bizarre, orange-tentacled fruitbody usually appears at roughly the same time that morels appear, and it is not likely to be mistaken for anything else.

Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae has a complicated life cycle, and spends much of its time on apple trees, in the form of little yellowish blisters on the leaves. In fact, apple farmers whose orchards are attacked by this rust can be sure there are eastern red cedars nearby. For a much more detailed account of the Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae life cycle, follow the link to Tom Volk's Fungi, below.


Ecology: Parasitic on the branches of Eastern Red Cedar; appearing in spring; widely distributed in eastern North America.

Fruiting Body: A round, brownish gall up to 3 cm wide, with soft, orange extensions that are shaped like horns and measure up to 4 cm long.

REFERENCES: Schweinitz, 1822. (Saccardo, 1888; McKnight & McKnight, 1987.) Herb. Kuo 04290601.

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Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae

Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae

Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae

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Kuo, M. (2006, April). Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: