Sunday, 6 January 2013

Outcrop of Orange

The damp (soaking wet) conditions we've been having, seems to bring these out - I have great rashes of them in vivid orange!

Bright tangerine jewels - except I think they are slime mould!  The colourful pimples that we see are actually the fruiting bodies or sporangia, and they proliferate when food is plentiful (suggesting I have lots of rotten wood around at my sheds!).  Interesting that the ones here should be orange, as this mould comes in a wide variety of colours.  I wonder what dictates the colour?  Do tell me if you know!

Alongside the beautiful range of bright and greyed velvety greens of the moss and lichen, they really are very striking. 

Slime mould starts life as a amoeba-like cell and multiplies fast if it encounters its favourite food, bacteria  and other suitable cells to mate with.  They then grow into an interconnected network of strands which move very fast.  When the food supply wains, they migrate to the surface and form rigid fruiting bodies.  These then release spores, which hatch into the amoeba-like cells, and the cycle begins again.

All that activity going on underneath the surface - glad we just get to see the flowering bit!


  1. Replies
    1. It looks really wonderful popping up everywhere, when most everything else is brownish!


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