White Fungus On Lawn

Cumberland, MD(Zone 6a)

I just today discovered numerous small patches of what I'm assuming is some kind of fungus on my lawn. It is white and looks cauliflower-like. It is definitely NOT snow mold as it does not appear cobwebby. It appears only on bare patches of dirt/earth, not on the grass. There are quite a few bare patches as I just recently (within the last 2 months) had my entire front yard re-tilled, re-seeded, fertilized and limed, and my landscaper came out a week or so back to do touch-up work on spots that did not "take."

We have had horrendously, drippingly humid conditions for the past week here. These patches came about overnight as I walk my yard every day and they were not there last evening. I've got a call in to my landscaper but figured I'd post here, too, and maybe benefit from some collective wisdom. I'm assuming it is a reaction to the fertilizer and the intense humidity as I've never seen anything like this before but does anybody have any ideas? I'm hoping it is benign and not something I have to "go to war" against as I've just dropped a bundle on my "new" front yard. The only other thing I can think to mention are that the spots appear at the very back of my front yard (in the last 10 feet or so right up to the wood's edge) where it is very shady.

Any help or reassurance would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

This might help identify what it is. I have no good advice. Usually we get mushrooms in our wood mulch.

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

i am thinking maybe puffball mushrooms.Can you post a picture of them here? Just add the picture as a reply to this post.


Cumberland, MD(Zone 6a)

Here's the picture. Definitely not puffball mushrooms going by your link. In taking another look just now as I took this picture, I found another half dozen or so areas like this sprung up overnight.

Thumbnail by bluemartian
Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Maybe Dollar Spot Fungus since you are pretty sure it isn't snow mold.


Cumberland, MD(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the input. Dollar Spot Fungus does not look like a match to me, although I could be wrong. I'm also not positive that it is not snow mold but from what I know of snow mold, it occurs in Spring, affects the grass itself and appears cobweb-ish. This is occurring in the Summer, affects only bare patches of earth, and appears cauliflower-like.

My landscaper called me back and says he's never heard of such a thing but will swing by sometime next week to take a look, but basically has no advice at the moment. I'd like to do something to nip this in the bud if it is going to turn into an invasive lawn disease but nobody seems able to identify it positively and I don't want to use the wrong treatment - or perhaps it is even good for the lawn. I'm still stumped.

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Here is the info line for Umaryland cooperative extension QandA hotline. Perhaps they can put you on the right track. Good Luck.


Cumberland, MD(Zone 6a)

Thanks for that number! I'll give them call after the weekend.

Just FYI, I discovered more patches of this white fungus over in my neighbor's yard, also in the very back of her yard near the tree line. That means it has nothing to do with my recent landscaping, fertilizing, etc., as we obviously did not work in my neighbor's yard or anywhere near there. Thanks again for the input.

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Please let us know what kind of answers you get.

Cumberland, MD(Zone 6a)

Hello again...sorry for taking so long to get back here. I finally talked to the hotline mentioned above and the good folks at the University of Maryland identified the white spots in my yard as "slime mold" or "dog vomit fungus." Appetizing, eh? They said it is harmless and no action needs to be taken. I've since spotted it in two other yards in the neighborhood, so I'm relieved. Thanks again for the help!

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

I wondered about that...just couldn't reconcile your picture with the descriptions for DVmold/slime mold. Glad you got an ID and that it is not harmful.

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