Slime Mold is Garden Treasure!

So, last week, while waiting for the bus to arrive, I did some much-needed weeding. As I pulled some weeds by my front walk, I noticed these tiny little round forms…they looked like roe. I suspected they might be some kind of insect egg. But, more importantly, they were just beautiful! The sun lit them up from within and they really did look like little treasures. So, of course, I had to grab my camera.

I emailed the University of Illinois Extension Office in Joliet and received a reply from one of their master gardeners, who informed me that these were not eggs of any kind, but, rather, slime mold!

Here’s what Nancy told me:

No not “eggs”, this is a magnificent looking slime mold. I am double checking on the specific slime mold that it is, but it is just nature at work! When conditions are right, and decomposition is occurring and high amounts of organic matter combined with just the right temperature and humidity, slime molds “fruit” or appear on mulch and rotting logs, forest floors, etc.

Some look like scrambled eggs, some look like white blobs, and  all sorts of wild things. Slime molds are very curious, they are not exactly plants or animals, but somewhere in between.

You can do nothing, and it will eventually disappear, but if you wish you can water and rake up the area to change the environment and it dissipate faster.

Here is a good article describing slime molds: http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/ul201.pdf

 

Thanks, Nancy!

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