This fungus is growing on a plant in my front yard and I do not know if it is dangerous for my health or for the plants health. Can you please identify it? I live in Dominican Republic, a tropical island in the Caribbean Sea.

Here are some photos from my yard:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ It is probably not good for the plant by the looks of it. But I think this question should be moved to gardening.se $\endgroup$
    – RHA
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 20:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Looks more like an insect invasion... $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ Also, please add your location. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


My answer won't apply if your plant isn't a cycad (a species from the genus Cycas) as only cycads are affected. Cycad aren't native to the Dominican Republic but have been planted as ornamentals in many parts of the world. If your plant's a cycad, I'm convinced that what your plant has is NOT a fungal but insect infection - something far more serious for your plant but not harmful for you or other people.

Please compare photos provided to make sure of identification. Even enlarging your top photo, it's not quite focused or clear enough to be sure. It appears that your white 'fungus' is actually Aulacaspis yasumatsui or the Asian cycad scale insect. Athough native to southeast Asia, it's been spreading to many places where cycad are found. Whether it's reached the Dominican Republic yet, I don't know but its been in Florida since the mid-1990s and is found in a number of Caribbean countries. It's now a very serious pest of cycad worldwide, resulting in the death of many.

Here are some photos for you to compare. I did my best to find photos that show greater detail for you to check. If the photos fit what you have, you need to treat your plant to prevent it dying and for the infestation spreading to other cycad on the island. I've no experience with this but the information on how to deal with this pest comes from Central Florida Palm & Cycad Society so they should know the best way to treat this.

Treatment of Asian Scale

close-up view of Aulacaspis yasumatsui Image from Forestry Images courtesy of Jeffrey W. Lotz

enter image description here Image from Central Florida Palm & Cycad Society

  • $\begingroup$ Jude as your answer indicate the photos have not been taken you you, in that case the source of the pictures needs to be mentioned. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – Tyto alba
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 7:27
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    $\begingroup$ Will do. It's weird but when I answer using my phone, either from Chrome or the SE app, most images from a URL won't load. So I end up downloading the images and posting them that way. Using my tablet, images load fine but I don't always have the tablet charged. $\endgroup$
    – Jude
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 7:33

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