Xylella fastidiosa causes disease in a wide range of plants. It has not been detected in the UK but there have been major outbreaks across Europe.
There are serious concerns about the risk of introduction of Xylella via infected host plants imported into the UK. The bacterium causes symptoms including leaf scorch, wilt, dieback and plant death can infect more than 350 different plant species. The horticultural industry and the UK government are taking measures to try to prevent the arrival of Xylella.
Unfortunately there are many plants which can be infected with Xylella. In Europe the highest risk plants include:
- Polygala myrtifolia (polygala)
- Olea europaea (olive)
- Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)
- Lavandula spp. (lavendar)
- Prunus spp. (plums, cherries, almonds etc.)
- Nerium oleander (oleander)
- Coffea (coffee)
- Hebe spp. (hebe)
- Spartium junceum (Spanish broom)
A full list of Xylella host plants in Europe is available here.