Slime Mold: Fungi, plant, or something else?

Slime Mold?

While outside enjoying the beautiful weather, you notice a brightly colored growth in your mulch bed. Upon investigation, you see it is a yellowish orange blob that resembles dog vomit. Disgusting! A few days later you notice that the blob appears to have gotten even larger. Okay, this must be some sort of fungus that needs to be dealt with before spreading everywhere and ruining your cherished landscaping. You should place a call to your lawn care provider so that you can rid your yard of fungus as soon as possible!

What is slime mold?

While it appears to be some type of fungus, such is not the case. Slime molds are neither a plant, animal, nor a fungus. They belong to a class of organisms known as myxomycetes. This unusual organism exhibits behaviors that are similar to both plant and animal behavior. Moist areas cause the slime by helping spores to germinate which release amoeba cells. Eventually, these cells turn into the multicellular blobs we find in our mulch beds and landscapes. The slime mold survives by consuming pathogens and bacteria from the soil of which they are on top.

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