The Department of
Natural Resources (DNR) is reporting that a shipment of boxwood plants at
Home Depot stores contain the boxwood blight fungus.
The boxwood plants
originated from a nursery named Cottage Gardens in Ohio, DNR said.
Boxwood blight (Calonectria
pseudonaviculata) is a fungal disease which infests members of the popular
Buxaceae family, and is often transported through the nursery trade. Hosts
include Buxus (boxwood), Pachysandra (Japanese spurge) and Sarcococca (sweetbox).
Annual inspections of nursery stock by the DNR verify that this pathogen is
not indigenous to Indiana, nor can it be found in nursery stock that is
fungus--which can lay dormant in drier conditions--is present, it can be found
on all above-ground portions of the plant and presents itself as dark leaf
spots. It causes rapid defoliation, which typically starts on the bottom of
the plant and moves toward the top. This fungal pathogen can move through
sporulation in water and from dropped leaves. As a result, infection can
spread to surrounding plants from a single infected plant.
nursery stock is currently being pulled from shelves in 13 Home Depot stores
by nursery inspectors and Cottage Garden representatives and will be
disposed of in a manner that will prevent the pathogen from spreading to
There are several
varieties of boxwood sold in Home Depot stores. The only species currently
testing positive for the fungus is Korean boxwood (Buxus Koreana), although
the DNR is testing other species to ensure the pathogen has not spread.
If you have
purchased a Korean boxwood from a Home Depot store in the last month please
contact the DNR for further guidance at 866-NO EXOTIC.