Verrucalvus flavofaciens

Kikuyu Yellows

Other common names:




Verrucalvus flavofaciens is the primary disease of turf and pasture types of kikuyu. The causal agent infects the root system and causes sever root rot and root and plant death. As an oomycete the pathogen thrives in the presence of high soil moisture and the disease favours warm conditions in spring and summer (Bransgrove, 2006).


Susceptible Turf:

Pennisetum clandestinum (kikuyu).



Typical turfgrass disease symptoms are observed which are expressed as yellowing of the turfgrass. The yellowing becomes circular in shape and expands as the infection continues to worsen. The patches could be 10 cm up to 1 m in size. The centre of the circle dies and the kikuyu does not regrow. The death often results in weeds dominating this area (as pictured).


Control options:

  • Pesticides: No chemicals are currently registered for the control of kikuyu yellows.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Use a combination of approaches listed on this page.
  • Cultural:
    • The disease can be masked (somewhat hidden) by higher levels of Nitrogen and a complete fertiliser program to encourage greater root development.
    • Following mowing of turfgrass affected by kikuyu yellows and other noticeable diseases, it is recommended that the clippings be captured (not returned) and destroyed.
  • Mechanical: Nil.



Bransgrove, K. (2006) Soil Borne Turfgrasses Diseases in Healthy Soil for Great Turf, Queensland Government, Cleveland, pp. 85.



Turf Finder or its developer accepts with no responsibility for any consequences whatsoever resulting from the use of any information or product(s) listed herein. Products are to be applied as per label instructions.

Control Options

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