Oak Leaf Blister

(Taphrina caerulescens)

Conservation Status
Oak Leaf Blister (Taphrina caerulescens)
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

 
  NatureServe

not listed

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Oak Leaf Blister is a common and widespread disease-causing (pathogenic) fungus. It occurs throughout the United States and in Quebec and Ontario. It infects about 50 species of oaks.

The mold-like, asexual stage (anamorph) of the fungus is Lalaria coccinea. In this stage, the fungus is saprobic, obtaining its nutrients from dead and decaying organic matter. It overwinters in bark crevasses and bud scales.

The sexually reproductive stage (telemorph) is Taphrina caerulescens. In this stage, it is parasitic, obtaining its nutrients from living tissue. In early spring it infects newly emerging leaves. It spreads its spores through wind and rain across the leaf surface and to other leaves. The fungus triggers an increase in the number of cells produced at the infection site. This appears as a gray, to ¾ lesion on the underside of the leaf and a raised, up to ¾ high, blister-like bulge on the upper surface. As the season progresses, the blisters may enlarge and merge, causing leaf curl and sometimes causing the leaf to drop. The damage to the tree is only cosmetic, rarely causing reduced overall growth.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat and Hosts
 
 

Cool, wet environments. Oaks.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

4, 7, 26, 29, 30, 77.

 
  6/19/2022      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common and widespread

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Phylum Ascomycota (sac fungi)  
  Subphylum Taphrinomycotina  
  Class Taphrinomycetes  
  Subclass Taphrinomycetidae  
 

Order

Taphrinales  
 

Family

Taphrinaceae  
 

Genus

Taphrina (leaf curl fungi)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Ascomyces caerulescens

Ascomyces quercus

Exoascus caerulescens

Lalaria caerulescens

Lalaria coccinea

Taphrina quercus

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Oak Leaf Blister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Parasitic

Obtaining nutrients from another living organism.

 

Saprobic

Obtaining nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

 
 
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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    Oak Leaf Blister (Taphrina caerulescens)   Oak Leaf Blister (Taphrina caerulescens)  
           
    Oak Leaf Blister (Taphrina caerulescens)      

 

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