Garden Word of the Day
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Dog Vomit Slime Mold
Have you ever walked out into the garden and seen what looks like Fido urped up his dinner? This fascinating pile of yuck is a slime mold.
Unlike other plant cells, slime mold cells have no cell wall. Instead, they are one giant, gooey cell with countless nuclei. This enlarged cell is called a plasmodium. As the tissue breaks down, you may see dark-colored spots of red liquid on the surface. In a couple of weeks, the mass will flatten out and dry.
Besides being funny-looking, dog vomit fungus is not harmful. Even if there was a way to get rid of them (which there isn’t), they don’t hurt anything other than your sense of beauty and aesthetics. Slime molds are important to garden biodiversity. They help break down woody materials and return those nutrients to the soil.
Did you know that slime molds can be used to determine the most efficient layout for streets and highways? It’s true!
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