The RHS and the University of Reading have been running a citizen science scheme on Powdery Mildew in the UK since 2013.
By receiving mildewed samples from participants around the UK the scheme aims to increase our understanding of powdery mildew distribution. This harmful plant disease saps nutrients from its hosts which are often important horticultural and agricultural plants.
Last year the scheme received 353 samples, double that of its first year: 94% were identified to genus level, and 7% to species level. In two years Oliver has seen 90 of the 150 mildews recorded in the UK, 60% of the total species.
Your samples are still very welcome in 2016. The guidelines to take part in the survey and help this important research are as follows:
Powdery Mildew Survey Oliver Ellingham Harborne Building School of Biological Sciences University of Reading
- Locate powdery mildew on plant host.
- Prune off several whole leaves (fig. 1).
- Put the fresh leaves in a slightly inflated sealed bag (fig. 2).
- Send to:
…along with the postcode/grid reference/GPS of where the sample was found, your email address and the name of the host plant. Photos of the plant are also happily received!
5. We will email you when results are available. This may take several weeks.
Powdery mildew can affect a wide range of host plants in the UK, 495 according to the list published here by researcher Oliver Ellingham.
To find more information on the disease, have a look at Oliver’s blog posts here: https://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg/author/oliellingham/
Here are some photos of powdery mildew seen on UK plants ©Oliver Ellingham: