Worldwide distribution. On coconut and other palms (e.g., betel nut), cocoa (see Fact Sheet no. 006) and papaya (see Fact Sheet no. 152), as well as weeds. A water mould, an oomycete, not a fungus is the cause. A minor disease in the Pacific islands, although occasional outbreaks in nurseries.
In the field, first sign is a bending of the spear leaf, with light brown rots on the leaf stalks. Central leaves rot (there is a foul smell) and fall out together with the bud, and the palm dies. Outer leaves remain green for a few months. Outbreaks occur in nurseries too.
Cultural control: good drainage to keep humidity low to reduce the time for spore germination; remove diseased palms; space at least 10 m apart to help air circulation; varietal differences exist. Malayan Dwarf is susceptible.
Chemical control: not recommended but, if needed: (i) copper; or (ii) phosphorous acid or metalaxyl injections