Boxwood blight invades North America | Science News

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Boxwood blight invades North America

Devastating fungus has already stripped shrubbery in Europe and New Zealand

By
6:34pm, January 20, 2012

Shrubs may be trembling by doorsteps across North America as an aggressive fungus disease of boxwood invades the continent.

Boxwood blight, caused by a Cylindrocladium fungus, was unknown to science before 2000 but has now spread through Europe and New Zealand. In October, U.S. authorities confirmed that the blight had jumped continents, with infections confirmed in North Carolina and Connecticut. By mid-January, with growers and pathologists on alert, the fungus had turned up in at least five more states — Virginia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Oregon — and British Columbia.

The blight starts with spots on leaves and black streaks on twigs. Withi

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