June 30, 2005

Strange but True: Artillery Fungus

Been reading up on landscaping in preparation for some yard work. Found a great article extolling the virtues of good old black plastic over the new geotex woven mulches, that also warned of the evil artillery fungus...

Great stuff from the Penn State Dept. of Horticulture: How to Control Weeds

The one fungus associated with organic mulches that does cause a serious problem is the artillery fungus. It produces a fruiting body that forcibly ejects a black, sticky spore mass. The fruiting body is phototropic, meaning it orients itself towards light, or bright, shiny surfaces that reflect light. These include windows, white siding, and shiny automobiles. The spore masses can be shot up to eight feet, but with an assist from wind can reach the top of two story homes. The glue with which the spore masses attach to surfaces is extremely effective. After it has dried, the spore masses are very difficult to remove, and even when removed, leave a dark stain behind. Clients have sued landscape managers for the cost of having their siding replaced or automobiles repainted. This problem is not uncommon anymore, and there is no good solution for it at this time.

Ok, this is going to sound really geeky, but isn't this reminiscent of that Star Trek (Classic, not NG or Voyager or whatever) episode where Spock gets hit with those plant spores and becomes a freaky 60's love child dude?

Posted by jameshom at June 30, 2005 12:27 PM | TrackBack
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