• Proposed
  • 2Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Puccinia physospermi Pass.

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Scientific name
Puccinia physospermi
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Rust and Smut
Assessment status
Proposed by
Stephan Helfer
Anders Dahlberg, Stephan Helfer

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

This is a globally rare fungus with declining host populations.

Provisional assessment: DD.

Geographic range

known from six countries.

Population and Trends

there are only 3 recent records and very few specimens altogether.
Since 1970 the number of populations of its principle host Physospermum cornubiense has declined from 50 to about 20. The populations themselves have also declined.

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Occurs on Physospermum cornubiense, P. aquilegifolium. These rhizomatous perennial herbs are often found in substantial, loose colonies in open woodland, in Ulex scrub on heaths, on rough grassy slopes (often in stream valleys), in Molinia grassland, and on shaded roadside banks. Reproduction is by seed, and the plant regenerates strongly after burning or clearance.


Host plant decline. The reason for the host plant decline is habitat loss to development.

Residential & commercial developmentAgriculture & aquacultureHabitat shifting & alteration

Conservation Actions

No existing actions are known.
The host plants’ habitat needs to be protected to stabilise and improve the survival chances of this rust. The habitat is not commonly considered as valuable (rough “waste” land), providing opportunities for alien species invasion (e.g. Heracleum mantegazzianum or Impatiens glandulifera). Any conservation action needs to balance these risks.
Ex situ conservation on cultivated Physospermum cornubiense would be a possibility.

Land/water managementSpecies management

Research needed

the host taxa are also known from the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco. Further monitoring of the host and the rust is needed.

Population size, distribution & trendsSpecies Action/Recovery PlanHabitat trends

Use and Trade


Anon. 2015. Online Atlas of the British and Irish flora. http://www.brc.ac.uk/plantatlas/index.php?q=node/1801
Wilson M & Henderson DM. (1966). British Rust Fungi. University Press, Cambridge.
Helfer S. (1993). Rust fungi - A conservationist’s dilemma. In: Pegler DN, Boddy L, Ing B & Kirk PM. Fungi of Europe: Investigation, Recording and Conservation. 287-294. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Evans, S., Henrici, A., & Ing, B. (2006). The Red Data List of Threatened British Fungi. BMS [WWW document] URL http://www. britmycolsoc. org. uk/index. php/download_file/view/528/[accessed 4 March 2015].

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted