How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Bacterial Crown Rot

Pathogen: Erwinia chrysanthemi

(Reviewed 1/07, updated 1/07)

In this Guideline:


Plants with bacterial crown rot may be stunted. During periods of high temperatures the leaves may wilt. In advanced stages of the disease, plants may collapse entirely. New leaves in the center of plants may fail to expand, becoming brown and dry. Crown and tap root tissues become soft, rotted, and turn brown or black. Infected crowns are readily identified after cutting because blackened tissue can be seen in the cross section of the stem. After cutting, infected plants may regrow more slowly than healthy plants.


Little information is available on disease development of this problem. It is likely that the pathogen is spread to other plants by cutting machines, as researchers have transmitted the pathogen with cutting tools. The digging and splitting of diseased crowns for propagation purposes results in infected new plantings. The bacterium probably survives on both plant tissue and on dead organic matter.


Do not use infected crowns for propagation. Annually grown artichokes planted from seed or transplants may not develop this disease.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Artichoke
UC ANR Publication 3434


S. T. Koike, UC Cooperative Extension, Monterey County
M. A. Bari, Artichoke Research Association, Salinas

Acknowledgment for contributions to Diseases:
S. Colbert, Griffin Corp., Valdosta, GA

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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