Arborist b 480-969-8808Greasy spot


Scientific Name

[Fungus] Mycosphaerella citri Whiteside

Anamorph Stenella citri-grisea (F.E.Fisher) Sivanesan; (syn. Cercospora citri-grisea Fisher)

Other common names 

Greasy spot rind blotch


Disease cycle 

The major source of inoculum for greasy spot are wind-dispersed sexual spores (ascospores) produced during periods of wetness on decomposing fallen leaves. The disease cycle of this pathogen is unusual because most of the infection occurs on mature leaves. In areas with high temperature and high rainfall the disease cycle continues year round and infection may occur at any time.




Leaf - foliar symptoms first appear as yellow spots on the upper leaf surface, with a corresponding slightly raised, pale orange to yellowish brown blister on the lower surface. Later the symptoms on both surfaces become darker brown or black and show a more 'greasy' appearance.

Fruit - fruit exhibit necrotic specks in the epidermis between the oil glands.

Host range 

Greasy spot affects all commercial citrus cultivars. It is most severe on grapefruit, lemon, tangelos and early season sweet oranges.

The fruits and leaves of grapefruit are highly susceptible.

Greasy spot is also known to affect the leaves of other rutaceous genera closely related to citrus, such as Aeglopsis, Fortunella, Murraya, and Poncirus.


Greasy spot is found in parts of Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Texas, and Florida.

Other Mycosphaerella spp. have been found in California, Australia, and the Mediterranean, but do not cause greasy spot symptoms.

Easily confused with 

Citrus varigated chlorosis (CVC)

Greasy spot foliar lesions can be differentiated from CVC based on their distribution on the whole tree and individual leaves. CVC symptoms will be restricted to a single branch while Greasy spot symptoms will be throughout the tree and grove. On leaves CVC "lesions" will be interveinal while greasy spot lesions are numerous and random.

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