Assessment of plant health in the Cape botanical gardens 2021-11-23
Botanical gardens are valuable for pest and pathogen surveillance owing to their diverse collection of exotic and native plants. In the week of 8 November, postdoctoral research Fellow, Dr Mesfin Gossa visited three botanical gardens in the Western Cape Province, namely Harold Porter and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, and the Arderne Gardens. This forms part of the SANBI-funded Sentinel Plant Project that focuses on monitoring plant health in South African botanical gardens. During the visit, Dr Gossa met horticulturists and discussed pest and pathogen problems in the respective gardens. As usual, several plant health issues were detected, and samples were collected for identification and further diagnosis. Dr Gossa has also demonstrated on how to use the customised Biosecurity Africa mobile Application for pest and pathogen reporting in the various gardens.