Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dog Vomit Slime Mold: To strange NOT to blog about it

Pin It So we’ve seen the below situation in our yard each year…

Sometimes it turns darker and ashy like this…
And sometimes it much more formed that like the first picture, but completely brown.

I thought it was just some oddity and that maybe it had to do with some sort of fungus.  We get powdery mildew on several bushes.  Must be an air circulation issue.  However, my seasoned gardener mother told me it was probably the “production” of some stray cat.  Ewwwww.  First bunnies, now cats?

“It” reappeared each year, here and there mulched flower beds.  Every time I see it, I curse this feral and elusive cat that feels the need to vomit or crap in my yard.  Why me?

Why white?

Then today, while searching for more info on blossom end rot (yes, it’s still haunting my tomatoes), I came across a gardening article that referred to something as “Dog Vomit Slime Mold”.  The above picture immediately popped in my head followed by “NO WAY!  It can’t be!”.

Yes.  Yes it CAN be.  Google turned up all sorts of fun facts about the so-called “Dog Vomit Mold”.  I even found this short video of a “garden surprise” complete with fun exclamations. 

There are mixed messages as to whether or not its harmful, but most extension sites said to just leave it alone.  It’s not the prettiest thing…it’s called “dog vomit mold” for a reason.  So you can just remove it with a shovel if you want. 

It happens to LOVE mulch, so I assume this will make ongoing appearances in our front landscaping.

However, I’m delighted that the “puke” isn’t coming from some cat with a bad attitude. Just a mold, that’s not really a mold, geeking out in my front yard because the conditions were just right.  Rock on slime mold.

And if you’re a nerdy science lover like myself, then you can find more information in this Chicago Trib article.

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  1. How funny our garden has been hit with this stuff all so never seen anything like it before. The vomit that we had even looked like it was bleeding! The only thing we have done different this year was mulch and we have had to much rain. I am surprised at how fast it grows from a little powder to full fledged goop.

  2. Ewe, that is kinda weird. Looked to me like fungus, but who knew there are all sorts of odd names for things.

  3. I heart you for posting this!
    Love, a fellow microbiology nerd


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