Webinar 7: Living with Armillaria – a botanic gardens perspective

In a recent webinar, Phil Hurle, Horticultural Manager with the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) shared the gardens’ experience managing Armillaria luteobubalina (Australian honey fungus).

“We’re situated on the eastern slopes of Black Mountain in Canberra.”

“We specialise in Australian native plants and that’s all we grow.”

In fact, the ANBG has the largest collection of native Australian plants in the world, containing about 83,000 individual plants.

“Now we have a big problem, it’s called Armillaria luteobubalina.”

“It’s a major pathogen at the ANBG and it’s endemic to Black Mountain.”

“It is a root disease fungus, a pathogen and a decayer of wood, both living and dead.”

“What we’re thinking is the Armillaria was present before the gardens was built, it started showing up once we started changing the habitat and the horticulture there by a lot of watering and moving things around.”

The ANBG has used a range of strategies to control the fungal disease such as removing the honey-coloured mushrooms it grows, using root barriers, applying biological controls and changing the use of badly affected areas.

“It’s important to secure your valuable collections elsewhere.”

“From a botanic gardens perspective that’s what you’ve got to watch out for because what we’re doing is looking after quite a valuable scientific collection.”

Watch the full webinar below to learn more about the ANGB’s experience managing this fungal disease.

This webinar was held as part of a series of webinars hosted by the Botanic Gardens Biosecurity Network. Watch the other webinars here.

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