Orange Fungus Growing in Mulch
If you notice orange fungus growing in your mulch, it's likely a stinkhorn, also known as Mutinus elegans. Stinkhorns are very easy to identify because they have a bad odor and have a very phallic shape.
Stinkhorns are penis-shaped fungi that can grow to almost 7 inches tall. They grow out of what appears to be a white egg and are covered with slime. They can be seen growing out of mulch, flowerbeds and white chip piles.
Stinkhorns spread their spores by emitting an odor that attracts flies and other insects. When the insects land on the stinkhorn, the spores stick to them via the slime. The insect then disperses the spores when it moves on.
There is no way to successfully rid your mulch pile of stinkhorns, according to the University of Wisconsin. Getting rid of all your mulch and replacing it with another type of mulch may be the only solution.
Orange Fungus Growing In Mulch
Slime molds, though not technically fungi, are generally grouped informally with nuisance landscape fungi and sometimes referred to as the "dog vomit fungus." Slime molds appear first as bright yellow or orange slimy masses that can measure more than 12 inches across. appears on the surface of mulch as tiny orange-brown to cream colored cups that each hold a mass of spores resembling a single black egg. These black spore masses stick to any surface, including siding or cars, and are difficult to remove without damaging the underlying surface and leaving stains. For a minor problem, break up the mulch regularly and spread a thin layer of fresh mulch on top of the existing mulch should help control it.
- Mushroom Expert: Mutinus elegans, M. caninus and M. ravenelii
- University of Wisconsin: Tom Volk's Mulch Fungi
- Ohio State University Extension: Control of Nuisance and Detrimental Molds (Fungi) in Mulches and Composts
- Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service: Mulch
- University of Massachusetts Amherst: Fungi in Mulches and Composts
- University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service: Nuisance Fungi in Landscape Mulch
- The Pennsylvania State University: What is Growing in My Landscape Mulch?