Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Spongy black fungus
What the heck is that thing?
I don't know, but it sure looks weird.
Back home at the computer, it's Tom Volk to the rescue again.
This is a specialized type of Sooty mold, Scorias spongiosa, that appears only on Beech trees.
Here's another page about it.
I first learned about sooty mold when I took the Master Gardener course. Certain plant-sucking insects excrete honeydew, a delightful name for what really amounts to sugary poop. The sooty mold lives off of it, and that's the black stuff you see on leaves (and other things).
I hadn't realized they came in such specialized varieties, though.