NS3678 : Leaf gall on Colt's-foot

taken 2 years ago, near to Cardross, Argyll And Bute, Great Britain

Leaf gall on Colt's-foot
Leaf gall on Colt's-foot
For context, see NS3678 : Track beside Cardross Road; the Colt's-foot plants on which I observed these galls were in the area on the right, beside the track. It is waste ground, with various mounds, consisting predominantly of what seemed to be agricultural waste.

For more on the host plant, Colt's-foot or Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), see NS3978 : Colt's-foot, taken elsewhere. As with Butterbur, the flower appears before the large leaf.

The picture shows two groups of clustercup galls on the underside of the leaf. The groups are about 2cm apart, and the numerous individual clustercups are therefore about 1mm across. The scientific name for the individual cups, which, in this case, are orange-red with a lighter yellow margin, is aecia (the singular is aecium).

On the upper surface of the leaf, the appearance was quite different: two yellow depressions, with a purple margin (partly visible on this side of the leaf as well).

The gall is caused by a rust fungus, Puccinia poarum. "British Plant Galls" (2edn, Redfern & Shirley, 2011) says that it is "locally common".

The rust fungi, of which this is one, have complex life-cycles (see NS3679 : Gall on nettle). With this species, only some stages of that life-cycle are hosted on Colt's-foot. As the specific name poarum suggests, the other stages are hosted on Poa (a genus consisting of numerous grass species) ["The Rust Fungi of the British Isles A Guide to Identification by their Host Plants", D M Henderson, British Mycological Society, 2004].
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NS3678, 130 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 19 May, 2017   (more nearby)
Sunday, 28 May, 2017
Geographical Context
Derelict, Disused 
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Closeup  Life 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3608 7834 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.1995N 4:37.6853W
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OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3608 7834
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North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Plant Gall 

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