Saturday, November 21, 2009

Greenhouse - "Rabbit Tracks" on Poinsettia

The following is information on the "rabbit track" disorder of poinsettia bracts.

Bilateral bract spots (Rabbit Tracks)

Many reasons have been proposed for this disorder, but the exact cause is still unknown. These spots, located on either side of the midrib of the bracts in late November and early December seem to occur more often on some varieties than on others. The disorder has been observed under every type of greenhouse covering, over a wide temperature range, and with several different fertilization programs and nutrient levels. High temperature and high nitrogen levels have been suspected as causes, but then the disorder will occur where neither of these conditions prevailed. Plants have been exposed to cool and warm air movements over the bracts and to high humidities, trying to produce rabbit tracks, but such experiments have usually failed. No pathogen or other pest has been found to be responsible for the spotting.

Information from the Poinsettia Problem Diagnostic Key on Physiological Disorders from North Carolina State University

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