University of Hawaii at Manoa
UH SealCollege of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources






West Hawai'i

East Hawai'i

Gardening Helplines

Helpful Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Hawai'i Gardening Basics

School Garden Resources

Tropical Topics

Statewide Efforts

Statewide Conference

UHMG eNews Archive

Advanced Training Resources for MGs

Make a Gift

Algal Leaf Spot or Cephaleuros

Algal leaf spot. Photo: Dr. W. Nishijima

Photo:  Dr. Wayne Nishijima


Spots appear on the leaves.  Fruit of guava may also be affected. Algal leaf spot affects avocado, guava, pepper, magnolia, kava, tea, coffee, oil palm, vanilla, mango, breadfruit, and cacao.  Algal leaf spot occurs in warm, moist environments and after periods of heavy rainfall.

Avocado algal leaf spot. Photo: Dr. Scot Nelson

Algal leaf spot on Avocado
Photo: Dr. Scot C. Nelson, CTAHR


Algal leaf spot or Cephaleuros  is a plant-parasitic green algae and is generally harmless though unsightly. Some Cephaleuros occurs on the upper leaf surface and is characterized by a raised, velvety, orange or brown appearance. Algal leaf spot can cause full necrosis of the leaf tissue, leaving brown dead spots. It can also appear as bright orange spots on the underside of the leaves. On some guava trees, a yellow halo encircles the lesions.


Kendal Lyon, Hawaii Island Master Gardeners