Exobasidium symploci from Cathy in SC

This shrub is located on Rocky Bald Rock Loop Trail in the Nine Times Preserve. I found it on Tuesday 19 May and what appeared to be blossoms were fully formed with the leaves just starting to emerge. The shrub itself was perhaps six to seven feet tall at the edge of the trail in the shade. For all the time I have spent on trails in the area, I have never seen anything quite like it.


Hi Cathy,

your plant is the rather common Horse Sugar, Symplocos tinctoria. However, what it is showing is a gall that forms on these from a fungus called Exobasidium symploci. You can read all about it here: https://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20p?see=I_AMC8910



Dr. Steven Hill, Botanist, SCNPS

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