Is this a fungus?

Asked November 15, 2015, 2:58 PM EST

We have found these growths pushing up bricks in our sidewalk and in the garden beds for the last 4-5 years. I was just planting some mums and found these 2 small ones. I have cut one of them open so you can see inside. What are they, why do we have them, and is there anything we should do to prevent them? Thanks!

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

This looks like a type of Puffball, a mushroom(fungi). There are many types of puffballs. Like other mushrooms it is living on dead organic matter in the soil. Often there is a dead tree root decomposing under the soil which is providing the nourishment it needs. As the root breaks down, the fungi will no longer be able to live on it. It is not harmful nor is there anything you can spray or apply to get rid of it. You can simply observe them or knock over and dispose of in the garbage if you want.