University of Florida

Erwinia Hollow Stem and Soft Rot


Erwinia carotovora


Foliar plant parts and fruit.


Inner tissue of stems, peduncles, etc. become slimy and discolored, plant parts hollow and collapse, often with a dark external discoloration; fruit develop a depressed, water-soaked spot that enlarges and rots the fruit rapidly, reducing the fruit to a sac-like appearance with a foul odor.

Pathogen Spread

Rain or irrigation splashed from soil or plant debris into natural openings in fruit (at the stem scar or blossom end), through wounds caused by insects or pruning in stems or fruit or systemically into fruit through vascular tissue of infected stems.

Favorable Conditions

High humidity, heavy rain fall or irrigation and warm temperatures in the 73 - 95 F. range. Rarely seen unless large amounts of rainfall occur in warm weather.

Erwinia Soft Rot Pictures

Erwinia Soft Rot
Image # 102.
Erwinia soft rot
stems hollow and often collapse, with a dark external discoloration.


Erwinia soft rot
Image # 102.
Erwinia soft rot-
fruit exhibit a watery, internal collapse resembling a shriveled water balloon.