zarenaallan's picture


Observed: 12th August 2011 By: zarenaallan

size-approx 4 cm max width
this was on the window frame for a couple of weeks before i got so curious i burst it, it took a bit of a poke before it burst. It started brown and then went white.
I have established it isn't dry rot, which was what really concerned me, but does anyone know what it might be?


Caution: Do NOT use iSpot to identify fungi to eat!

Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which a slime mould (Reticularia lycoperdon) interacts


anonymous spotter's picture

I'm really not sure -

It looks a bit like a Scleroderma (earthball) type of fungus. They are usually pretty specific about what they grow on, so if it's a wooden frame to the window, this is a possibility, and the type of wood might provide a clue.
Alternatively, it might be a slime mould. These are relatives of fungi. They live as single cells, but amalgamate to form spore bodies. The strongest argument against this are that they would need to be present in large numbers, which seems unlikely inside a house.

zarenaallan's picture

earthball more likely? no moisture present

it is growing on old victorian windows, where there is wood left it is pitch pine i believe, but there is a lot of wood filler of various sorts in large sections.
the outside was, as soon as i observed it, DRY, not being an expert, slime mould would seem to me to have some kind of moisture about it, this was definately dry, though i didn't see it grow, there was something standing in front of it, though i'm not a slob so it wasn't there for that long!
there aren't any more in the house, that i can see!

Fenwickfield's picture


I would also think earth ball as the frame looks dry and they do grow from wood,it may just be by chance that a spore has managed to settle and germinate.They grow very quickly like all fungi some can appear overnight.


Dioctria's picture

Reticularia lycoperdon actually common in houses

I just looked this species up and read that it is also common on worked timber such as door and window frames in houses, so perhaps not as unusual a location as I first thought.

The photo looks exactly like the mature stage of one I once saw on a log in my back garden: Cocoa-brown spores in a silvery, papery case that reminded me of a cake dusted with icing sugar. :-)

On the large version you can also make out that it is attached to the frame and glass all around the edges which would rule out earth-balls that have a more stalk-like attachment.


zarenaallan's picture

thanks David, i'm sure you're

thanks David, i'm sure you're right, the papery and icing sugar description is exactly right. I'm not so happy with the thought that i have slime mould in the house! will it do any damage? am i likely to get lots more? if you know anything else i would love to know...
(i still have the outline on the glass of the window!)