Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

gallers on genus Saponaria

Dichotomous table for gallers on Saponaria

by Hans Roskam

1a On flowers or flower parts => 4

1b On vegetative organs => 2

2a Expanded malformations on stems and leaves => 3

2b Leaf blades with several rotund pads, up to about 5 mm broad, protruding on underside; yellow-brown, sometimes slightly swollen, soon covered with brown spores. Occasionally more elongated sori on main veins and young stems. S. cerastioides, ocymoides, officinalis, orientalis, persica: Puccinia arenariae

3a Young shoots stunted, thickened and shortened, leaves ± clustered; their bases often spongy, strongly swollen; leaf blades distorted and curled. Saponaria spp.: Ditylenchus dipsaci

3b Leaf strongly deflected, ± bent and curled, deep green at infestation site; sometimes several leaves similarly disfigured on stunted shoot tips which are usually cracked on one side. Saponaria spp.: Philaenus spumarius

4a Malformation of flowers, or predominantly of anthers, caused by fungi => 6

4b Malformations of flowers caused by animals => 5

5a lowers unopened variously swollen conically. Containing several yellowish, jumping larvae. S. officinalis: Contarinia steini

5b Slightly bloated, ± largely unopened calyx encloses the other flower parts which are transformed into scale-like, ± greened leaves. Saponaria spp.: Cause unknown – ? gall mite

6a Flower buds ± globular, swollen to about pea-size, ± brown-red discoloured galls. Inner parts soon largely destroyed. Bud at first unopened, eventually bursting open and with dusting of brown-yellow spore balls. S. ocymoides, officinalis: Thecaphora saponariae

6b Anthers ± globularly swollen in unopened, usually little altered flowers, rigidly connected to their filaments, soon filled with reddish- to brown-violet spore masses. S. lutea, ocymoides, officinalis, pumilio: Microbotryum violaceum

Last modified 18.xi.2023