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Tomato Plant - Intumescence

Tomato plant - Intumescence
Tomato plant- Intumescence

Intumescences are small, bump-like protrusions on the surface of leaves, petioles and stems of affected plants. Intumescences are commonly called oedema or edema however, while intumescences and oedema or edema are often used interchangeable, research shows that the symptoms are caused by different factors and plant physiological responses in different plants. These are physiological disorders.

Current research points out that lesions on ivy geranium would be referred to as "oedema" while lesions on tomato, ornamental sweet potato and other plants would be referred to as "intumescence".

Oedema (edema) and intumescence are not caused by diseases like a bacterium, or a virus and are not transmittable from one plant to another. They are physiological disorders. Recent research indicates that light quality, specifically ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation is directly related to preventing or minimizing intumescence symptoms on ornamental sweet potato and tomato, however has been found to have no effect on geraniums.

See the UMass Extension fact sheet: Oedema and Intumescence

Greenhouse Problems and Solutions by Richard Snyder, Mississippi State University, presented at Greenhouse Tomato Conference, 2009

Under side of tomato leaf with intumescence
Leaf distortion caused by intumescence