Story: Flax and flax working

Yellow leaf disease

Yellow leaf disease

From the early 1900s, the flax fibre industry was threatened by yellow leaf disease, which caused healthy plants to die. Various remedies were tried but none was completely successful. Some varieties of flax were more resistant to the disease, however. Now yellow leaf is believed to be caused by a phytoplasma bacterium, carried by plant hopper insects.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Flax and flax working - The flax fibre industry: 1860s–1930s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 May 2023)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 24 Sep 2007