Saturday, July 18, 2020

Slime Mold in the Yard

I was looking out the window of the laundry room into the back yard to see if the neighborhood cat was around when I spotted something unusual--a slime mold! It appears to be growing out of a stump that has been there since before we moved here in 2002, but which has never before produced any kind of fungal fruiting much less a slime mold. There is more slime mold growing in some nearby leaves, so I'm not actually sure it began with the stump or maybe some leaves lying on top of the stump.

My neighbor, a retired landscape gardener at Golden Gate Park who's lived in his place since the 1960s, said he believes the stump was once a yew tree.

Virtually all of the leaves on the ground are from the neighbor's lilly pilly tree (native to Australia).

Crop 1

Crop 2

I'm almost sorry that we're heading out on a camping trip tomorrow since I won't get to watch the progress of this splendid myxomycete.

Is this Fuligo septica, a white fruiting of the commonly yellow "dog vomit" slime mold, or maybe Enteridium lycoperdon, the false puffball?

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