WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 15th, 2010

Chocolate Tube Slime

Jul 15

Widely distributed in North America this slime mold is supposed to be common and abundant. At least according to my Audubon mushroom field guide. I can’t remember ever seeing any but I am sure I never photographed some before today.

Chocolate Tube Slime – Stemonitis splendens

Chocolate Tube Slime

This yummy goodness grows on dead wood and leaves. The Chocolate Tube Slime I found today was growing on a log (in a bed of Poison Ivy). The yellow/orange colored growth between them is Dog Vomit Slime Mold – Fuligo septica. I get to that another day. You have more than enough to swallow already.

Chocolate tube slime on log

This is the final stage of growth. It began as a white Plasmodium mass and ended up contrary to it’s name – the chocolate tubes are dry and ‘dusty’ with spores. Notice the wood stained brown around the tubes by all the spores.

Stemonitis splendens

I found there’s still plenty of ‘chocolate powder’ left in these tubes and got it all over my finger.

Stemonitis splendens

Not the best macro ever photographed but it gives you some more detail with the tubes against my finger.

Stemonitis splendens

Reach out and touch someone.

Stemonitis splendens

I’ll leave you in my spore cloud. Again not the best photograph but it gives you an idea how easy it was to produce a cloud of spores. All I had to do was tickle it.

Stemonitis splendens spore cloud

7 Responses

  1. Curbstone Valley Farm Says:

    I’ve never seen that slime mold! How cool, especially that you can find it in July where you are. It’s too dry here. Looks like a mix of chocolate spaghetti and cocoa powder 😛

  2. sharkbytes Says:

    I have seen chocolate tube slime once and got pictures. It had the tubes, but they were still soft and not quite ready to spread their spores. I LOVE slime molds.

  3. nanina Says:

    I think it’s weird that 2 people who don’t know each other and don’t live near each other were thinking about Chocolate Tube Slime Mold at roughly the same time!!!

    Wonderful! You did it much better than me.


  4. One Says:

    Hi Wiseacre, Your photos are beautiful. The slime mold reminds me of sea anemones; the one Nemo the clownfish lived in. Like the way you ‘dare to’ articulate.

  5. Curious Jo Says:

    Great pics! Did the chocolate tube slime have an odor? Last week I started noticing a peculiar odor as I raised the garage door. After checking the garbage as the source and finding that it was not the source, I noted a strange blob coming out of the aluminum facing of garage door and the brick wall. I took a broom to knock it down and found chocolate tube slime. It was sporing and released the spores just as your pics show. Actually I did not know what it was but assumed it was either mushroom or mold. I identified it using the National Audubon Society Field Guide North American Mushrooms. We live near where the Mississippi has crested last weekend. The Bird’s Eye Levee was blown by the Army Core of Engineers in the week before my discovery. I assume the unusual wetness triggered the slime mold to grow and sporulate. You’ve helped validate my discovery. Thanks.

  6. Melissa Says:

    I’m glad you wrote this article! I found some of this growing in my window sill this week and was wondering what in the heck it was.

  7. Grizzlybare Says:

    We found Chocolate Slim mold growing from the tile floor in the utility closet where the AC and water heater is. I have pictures if I can figure out how to post!