This fall we decommissioned a large wooden planter where we grew our vegies. When we emptied the planter and turned it over, we found an abundance of new and disturbing life forms living there. If anyone knows what type of fungus this might be, I’d love to know.

Here’s the bottom of the planter


and here’s a closeup of the “colony” of ???

undergrowth 3

and here’s a less disturbing picture of the inside of the planter with embedded roots and if you could see the larger size, tiny worms and snails.


you can see larger pictures of these on my flickr page.

9 thoughts on “undergrowth

  1. johngorentz says:

    I have no idea what kind of fungus that is, but I heartily encourage you to take more photos of rotting wood. It’s one of my reliable photo subjects on my bike rides.

    1. lsaboe says:

      ah yes, rotted wood, broken bones, crushed stones…love them all. i saw a dead deer on the road and pulled over in hopes of getting a shot but the traffic was so horrible i couldn’t risk it. i miss a lot of shots due to ridiculous numbers of cars.
      i wish i were a brave bike rider like you.

  2. irishkerry says:

    OK, call me weird (or call me a biologist), but I think what you found is beautiful and fascinating and not disturbing in the least. Plus, the photos are lovely in and of themselves. If you send me copies, I can run them by our ‘shroom guy and see what he thinks.

    1. lsaboe says:

      i agree…they are fascinating and beautiful. if you go click on this link to my flickr page, you can download them in whatever size works for your bandwidth.
      go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/thereallinda/sets/72157602817929775/detail/
      and click on the picture you want. above the picture are small links, one of which says “all sizes.” click on that and you can choose which size to download.
      and thanks! i can’t wait to find out what this amazing stuff was.

  3. irishkerry says:

    What you’ve got is a fruiting plasmodial slime mold (Myxomycota). These are really cool organisms that have historically been classified as either protists or fungi. The main body, or plasmodium, is sort of a giant bag of cytoplasm with a bunch of nuclei; the whole thing can move around like a giant amoeba. When it’s time to reproduce, they produce fruiting bodies, within which spores are produced. Those round blobs are fruiting bodies; the little black blobs, if I’m reading things correctly, are the sporangia.
    Anyway, a good description can be found at Wayne’s Word: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/slime1.htm
    Too cool!

    1. Anonymous says:

      fruiting plasmodial slime mold…
      Who ya gonna call??? GHOST BUSTERS!
      Seriously … I’m sure having your own Myxomycota plantation is not injurious to your health … as long as you don’t inhale :-))

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