Anthracnose (fungus – Colletotrichum graminicola)

Host Grass: Common Bermuda, Buffalo Grass, St. Augustine Grass(Stenatophrum secundatum)

Cause and Symptoms: Anthracnose may kill plants in irregularly shaped patches from several inches to many feet in diameter. The overall color of affected patches goes from reddish brown to tan. Crown tissues become infected and plants yellow and die. The fungus occasionally causes reddish brown spots on leaves. Leaves then turn yellow and finally light tan to brown as they die. Grayish black mycelial mats are often found on lower sheath tissue and stems. Tiny black fruiting bodies (acervuli) form in dead leaves or stems.

Control and Management:  Cultural practices that reduce disease include: proper fertility, alleviating soil compaction and traffic, and providing adequate soil moisture. Do not apply high rates of nitrogen during periods of drought or high temperature. Water turf deeply and as seldom as possible to avoid stressful conditions. Avoid watering during the late afternoon or evening. Fungicides (See section on Turfgrass Fungicides) may hasten recovery of affected turf.

Content edited by: Young-ki Jo, , Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Dept Plant Pathology & Microbiology, Texas A&M University, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, May 31, 2013

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