What is this and how should I remove it?

Asked July 12, 2018, 1:44 PM EDT

I recently bought my house and noticed in the backyard against the back of the house there is a growth. I’m not sure if it’s a fungus or mold, and I’m not sure of the best way to treat it. There are a few areas along the back of the house as well as under our deck where this is growing. I haven’t noticed it anywhere else on our property. Can you help?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

This is a type of mushroom, a.k.a. fungus.
It is not of concern, but it is ugly and bothers people.
They have the unfortunate but apt name of Dead Man's hand, foot or fingers.
We can't tell exactly what they are, but one type (Dead Man's Fingers Xylaria polymorpha) grows on decaying wood, helping it to break down. Do we see an old tree limb in the ground beneath where the drain pipe was?
If so, dig it up and discard it. Likewise, if you find these mushrooms bothersome, dig them up and throw them away.