Dog Vomit Fungus

Dog Vomit Fungus newSometimes I find some surprising things growing in the 40 acre woods.  I found this bright yellow stuff growing around a onion in my raised bed garden.

This is the Dog Vomit Fungus (Fuligo septica) a species of plasmodial slime mold.  Slime molds are closely related to fungus, but are not in the same kingdom.  Other common names are Dog Vomit Slime Mold or Scrambled Egg Slime.  This slime mold feeds on microorganisms that live in dead plant materials.  They help with decomposition of dead vegetation, and feed on bacteria, yeasts and fungi.  The Dog Vomit Fungus is usually found in soil, lawns, mulch, leaf litter and on the forest floor.

The fluffy yellow Dog Vomit Fungus is the spore-bearing fruiting body of a slime mold; which then degrades, darkening in color, and releases its dark-colored spores.  By the end of the day it had shriveled up and turned brown.

Dog Vomit Fungus oldThe Dog Vomit Fungus is great indicator that my raised bed is full of living, healthy soil.  Fungus and slime molds break down plant material to make the nutrients available to feed my plants.  The slime molds and mycelium of fungi growing in the soil increase the efficiency of water and nutrient absorption of my plants and confers resistance to some plant pathogens.  The slime mold and mycelia are also an important food source for many soil invertebrates.

I am always happy to see mushrooms and even a Dog Vomit Fungus growing at the 40 acre woods.

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7 Responses to Dog Vomit Fungus

  1. Diane says:

    Thank you for this information. We found a Dog Vomit Fungus in our backyard for the second time and I just had to know what it was. What a great blog you’ve got going! Great pictures and fun to read, informative text. You might have fun looking at our school garden blog at armijogarden.blogspot.com

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  3. Tonita says:

    Thank you!! Just found this under two strawberry plants and I was so praying it was a good mold not a bad one. Thank you!

  4. Yvonne says:

    Thanks for the info! I found it all over my compost pile this morning and wondered what it was. Your blog is very helpful!

  5. Jane says:

    I found big chunks of it in the bottom of my composter. Just wanted to make sure it was ok to mix it around or should I get rid of it?

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