Fungus growing on nettle

Please try to include photos to show all parts of the fungus, eg top, stem, and gills.
Note any smells, and associated trees or plants (eg oak, birch). A spore print can be very useful.
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Fungus growing on nettle

Post by trp » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:59 pm


I found this fungus growing on a few nettles on my local golf course today. I didn't notice any particular smell. I wonder if someone could suggest what it may be.

I live in Oxfordshire. The nettles were growing near a clump of gorse.

Many thanks


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Lancashire Lad
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Re: Fungus growing on nettle

Post by Lancashire Lad » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:17 pm

Hi, and welcome to UK Fungi.

Usually, a single photo of a find like this, quite small in the overall frame, wouldn't provide anywhere near enough information to enable confident identification suggestions.

For future reference, if you have an ongoing interest in the subject, please take a moment to read HELP US TO HELP YOU TO IDENTIFY YOUR FINDS, to see the sort of information generally needed when trying to identify people's finds.
If you read that post, you will see that a lot of information can be required in order to obtain confident ID suggestions. - And much of that information wouldn't necessarily be obvious to someone new to fungi identification. Almost all of us will have found that out very quickly when we first started!
We appreciate that you might not always be able to obtain all the necessary information, but the more details that can be provided, the better your chances will be.

However, all that said, your find isn't actually a fungus, it's a myxomycete (slime mould), and in this case, it's one of the few myxo's which are readily and easily identifiable without microscopy - from "macro" characteristics alone.

Your find is absolutely typical of Mucilago crustacea, a myxo which always grows on living herbaceous material -primarily grasses, but also on nettles, rushes, etc. etc. - where it will always be found like this, quite low to the ground.

You can see towards the top right of your example, that that part of the "aethalia" (the fruiting body) hasn't yet quite changed from its immature plasmodium stage.

Either that, or that is where you touched it, at which time it would more or less instantly turn into this sticky "mush" - as would the rest of it were you, (at this stage in its maturing process), to try to get a hold of any part of it.

It will eventually dry out and then break apart to release its spores.

Common sense is not so common.

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Re: Fungus growing on nettle

Post by trp » Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:39 pm

That's great. Thanks for taking the time to reply Mike.

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