Tag Archives: fungus

weird smelly fungus

Garden Fungus Begins as a White Pod and Then Gets Weird

As I have been gardening I keep noticing these weird, puffy white balls under the soil in my raised garden bed. As I dig them up I throw them into the yard.

Yesterday I found another one. I just set the round slushy blob on top of the dirt and left it. Today this is how it looked.  Pretty gross.  There is some slimy thing at the top, and the whole thing smelled bad.

weird smelly fungus
Columned Stinkhorn

The round white balls are around 1-2 inches and have little white roots at one end. They are soft and squishy, and I had no idea what these weird things were.

When I noticed those bizarre orange things sticking up from it, I had to investigate further and find out what it was.  When searching for white “puffballs” mostly the puffball mushrooms show up. Then I came across this post at East Tennessee Wildflowers site which showed the exact same thing.  Now I had a name for it.

So now I know it is a Columned Stinkhorn (Clathrus columnatus) and according to Wikipedia it is commonly found in mulch.  It also mentions that it is edible… gag… who could eat this nasty thing?

Since I live in Florida, home to nasty creatures and all types of weirdness, I was afraid it would be an egg that lots of hideous things would crawl out of.  I guess I am relieved to know it’s only a smelly orange fungus.

Brown Spots on Hydrangea Leaves

wilted hydrangea leaves
What's Wrong?

I have not grown my own hydrangeas, but I did help care for the shrub in the front yard at my rental home. The landlady did not have a green thumb, and since the plant was not really mine, I generally just made sure it got enough water so I could photograph the blooms in summer and fall.

My last year living there, I noticed that part of the plant was not as green as the rest and some of the leaves were getting brown (see photo).

I no longer live there, but I’d like to know what this is for when I do grown my own hydrangeas.

Certain types of hydrangea shrubs can get diseases and have problems with powdery mildew, and mineral deficiencies. They can be affected by mites, aphids and Japanese beetles.

In fact the yard was full of grubs which turn into Japanese beetles and although I did seem some beetles on this plant, they didn’t seem to be doing much damage.

So why are the leaves turning brown? And only on a portion of the plant? Could it be Cercospora leafspot or some other similar fungus? Continue reading Brown Spots on Hydrangea Leaves