Another curious case of an unknown garden growth hit Reddit in June, as a user showed off what looked like a mold that grew in their yard.
“These popped up in my garden overnight,” they wrote alongside a photo of a colony of small brilliant orange domes.
The apparent funky fungus brought out some jokesters.
“Looks like you spilled goldfish crackers on the ground,” one commenter wrote.
Another called it “delicious cheese puffs.”
Others tried to solve the mystery, and one confidently identified the growth as wolf’s milk (or slime mold).
The poster noted they had puppies and asked if they should remove the mold.
“I had some pop up in my yard too!” said another, adding that they removed the mold because it “smelled bad.”
Lycogala epidendrum, known as wolf’s milk, slime mold, or toothpaste slime, is commonly found on decaying wood.
“It belongs to a group called slime molds, or myxomycetes — a group of funguslike organisms that at one time were regarded as animals, then thought to be plants, then fungi,” the Missouri Department of Conservation explains. “Now, because of DNA studies, slime molds are believed to be closer to the protozoa. They are studied by botanists and mycologists.”
On its website, London’s Horniman Museum and Gardens provided fascinating information about the growth.
“Slime mold plasmodia are an excellent example of communal intelligence, where a brainless single celled organism can exhibit sophisticated behavior by grouping together, communicating, and changing behaviour in response to environmental conditions,” the organization wrote.
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, slime mold, which the organization notes are not edible, inspired the 1958 film The Blob.
The Reddit post appeared on r/mycology, which showcases fungi and features question after question about mushrooms.
And while this Redditor — whose location was unknown — was more interested in identifying what was in their garden, many users discuss foraging in the subreddit.
The most important aspect of foraging is accurate identification.
“Do not eat any fungi that have not been properly identified by a qualified professional,” Edible Wild Food advises. “Some are DEADLY when ingested (all species MUST BE cooked).”
Mushrooms can be identified by their height, habitat, spore print, season, gills, or pores.
“Wow, they’re always hot pink where I live,” one user commented. “Cool too see the mold comes in other colors too.”
Another said: “Look at them go. Nature Nerdz. How gorgeous !”
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