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Grey mould in snowdrops is an infection or disease caused by the fungus Botrytis galanthina, causing leaves and flowers to collapse. A fuzzy grey mould forms under wet conditions.
Grey mould on snowdrops. Image: RHS, Horticultural Science
Botrytis galanthina is a fungus, closely related to the grey mould fungus Botrytis cinerea. Check for symptoms from mid-winter when leaves emerge.
This fungus only attacks Galanthus spp. and is most severe on G. nivalis. It is worse in mild winters.
You may see the following symptoms:
There are no chemicals available to gardeners to control the disease.
Botrytis galanthina is closely related to the grey mould pathogen Botrytis cinerea. B. cinerea has a very wide host range, but B. galanthina is one of a number of species which attack specific plants, in this case only Galanthus spp.
Botrytis galanthina forms small, black, seed-like structures (sclerotia) in the tissues it kills. The sclerotia germinate as the new shoots develop, releasing spores which infect and kill the shoots. The fungus produces a fuzzy grey mould which releases airborne spores and these spread infections to new plants. The fungus can spread back down to the bulb and forms new sclerotia on the infected scales.
Bulbs: plantingCyclamen grey mouldDisposing of diseased materialGrey mouldSnowdrops
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