In India, a black, fluffy fungal growth was observed on the auricles of older leaves on either side of the leaf sheath. The fungus was identified as Microxyphiella hibiscifolia Bat., Nasc., & Cif. Elongate to linear pycnidia, black to dark olive in color, attach superficially to epidermal cells. Although described as a pathogen (Singh and Grover 1968), sooty mold fungi generally colonize insect honeydew or plant exhudates and are not considered to be plant pathogens.
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Original posting: June 5, 1999.