Northwest berry Foundation

Management Detail

Anthracnose Fruit Rot

in Strawberries

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Latin name: Colletotrichum gloeosporoides and C. acutatum


Reason for Concern:
1) This disease predominantly affects fruit though in severe cases can affect most all parts of the plant.
2) Warm, wet weather conditions spur this infection on.
3) This disease can devastate a crop quickly if conditions are just right, leaving fruit unmarketable.

Both mature and immature fruit will display hard, sunken surface lesions. Circular lesions are tan to dark brown in color and infected fruit tends to stay attached to the plant even after entire fruit has been affected. Severe cases of Anthracnose on berries during wet weather will have moist, orange spores over the darken lesion.

Disease Cycle:
The fungus overwinters in the decaying leaves and fruit. In the spring, the fungi produce spores which splash onto flowers and developing fruit mainly by rain and overhead irrigation. Fruit tends to be more infected during warm, wet weather seasons as spores are spread best during these conditions. Fungicides are more effective as a preventative and should be applied before the disease develops in the spring.



  • Largely based on crop history. When scouting, examine 4 locations in a 10 acre plot, inspect 10 plants within each location and record the number of fruit showing symptoms.  
  • Being the disease infects very quickly, thorough inspection for disease lesions during all fruit stages should be performed often.  Be extra diligent during wet, warm seasons as spread it more likely with those weather conditions.
  • Fruit lesions would appear oval to round, sunken, hard, dry and tan to dark brown in color.
  • Though rare to find more than fruit damage in the Pacific Northwest, scout for wilting, collapsed plants with stem lesions or crown discoloration.

Cultural Controls:

  • Purchase clean nursery stock and plant resistant cultivars.
  • Minimize overhead irrigation use (especially late in the day) in fields with a history of the disease.
  • Cull diseased fruit from the field to prevent spread of the disease to still ripening fruit.  
  • Clean all equipment after use in affected field to decrease spread of disease to adjacent fields.
  • Rotate fallow fields with non-host crops in between strawberry production years.


For information about chemical controls, check with our Pesticide Guide.


Green fruit stage infection. Photo T. Peerbolt

Healthy fruit (middle) left and right show infection. Photo T. Peerbolt


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