Strange growth/fluid from backyard

Asked June 28, 2018, 7:08 PM EDT

Hello, we have a strange fluid or growth coming from the ground in our backyard. We cannot tell if it's coming up from below the soil surface. It appears in the same area in the back yard space. We thought it may be some sort of fungus. I included pictures. It has appeared about 3-4 times this spring/summer. It's a strange texture and sort of pinkish/orange in color. There are no pets or animals in the yard, but we are concerned that it may be toxic. Can you help us figure out what it is?

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

That's a very nice looking slime mold! Slime molds are a fungus-like organism that feeds off decaying plant tissue. They don't harm plants or animals and eventually break down and dissipate on their own. You can hasten this by spraying with water to break up the slime mold. Slime molds may occasionally grow around a plant and shade it, but aren't directly causing a disease. As the organic matter in your soil breaks down the slime molds will not occur as often.

On a side note: slime molds are really interesting organisms! There are many different kinds of slime molds and they come in an array of colors from black to tan to bright yellow and more. If you're interested, there you can also search for time lapse videos on YouTube that show how slime molds grow and form in the landscape.

Thanks for contacting Ask An Expert!