Cryptogamic diseases of plants: What they are and examples

As many of you already know, plants do not only suffer from pests, but they can also suffer from various diseases. There are different types of these. They are usually distinguished by the pathogenic agent that causes them. In this article we will talk about cryptogamic diseases of plants. This term may not sound familiar to you, but some of these pathologies do.

We will not only explain what cryptogamic diseases of plants are, but we will talk about some examples of them, such as anthracnose or botrytis. So if you want to know more about this type of pathology, I recommend that you keep reading.

What are cryptogamic diseases?

Cryptogamic diseases of plants are diseases caused by fungi or other filamentous parasitic organisms.

Before giving examples, we will first explain what cryptogamic plant diseases are. These are diseases caused by fungi or other filamentous parasitic organisms, such as those oomycetes. When animals are affected, this type of disease is called “mycosis.

But to what is the curious denomination of “cryptogamic” due? Well, both fungi and other filamentous organisms have been classified as cryptogamous plants. It is for this reason that the diseases they cause are known as cryptogamic diseases. The forms in which these pathologies are presented are very diverse, representing approximately 90% all plant pathologies, or plant diseases.

Evolution of cryptogamic plant diseases

Regarding the evolution of cryptogamic diseases in plants, contamination occurs first. The spores belonging to the cryptogamous fungi are transported, through the wind for example, to the plants, where they are deposited. Right there they begin to germinate and end up penetrating inside the plant tissues.

The attacking fungus passes through stomata and lenticels, which are natural openings in plants. It even usually has the ability to go through the cuticle! You can also access the interior of the vegetable through injuries that the plant in question has. These injuries can be caused both by insects and by ourselves, by not being careful when handling the vegetable.

Once the contamination of the plant is finished, it is time for the next phase: The incubation. This is when the fungus begins to branch out and invade the cells of plant tissues or the spaces between them. Then the first symptoms begin to appear, which end up developing little by little. These are accompanied by the fruiting of the fungus.

Those plants attacked by cryptogamous organisms can languish. In other words: They can suffer from obstruction of the vessels, necrosis of the tissue, etc. When it comes to combating these types of diseases, Fungicides are often used since they are generally fungi that invade plants.

Here we will talk about some examples of cryptogamic diseases of plants, I’m sure some of the others sound familiar to you.


First of all we have the famous anthracnose, also known as canker or canker. It is very common in humid and hot areas. The fungus responsible for this disease usually belongs to the genera Gloeosporium o Colletotrichumor be part of the species Coniothyrium fuckelii.

Anthracnose can infect various plants, from trees to herbs. Affected plants may exhibit various symptoms, such as the following:

Anthracnose on horse chestnut
Cryptogamic diseases of plants: What they are and examples

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