Imagine my surprise this morning, that I find Stemonitis splendens growing on the pineapple crown as well as the leaves of the Guyanese broad leaved thyme.
This is a slime mould that passes through a plasmodium stage followed by a sporangial stage. The plasmodium stage would probably be hard to notice in a garden teeming with life and myriad hues. It involves an acellular mass of protoplasm that creeps along all that is dead and decaying in your garden in search of sustenance. When it lacks moisture and nutitive material and the conditions of light are just right, it will enter the sporangial stage where it will produce brown, chocolate coloured hair like tufts which are aggregates of spores.
This slime mould is not dangerous to living plants but the sight of it on my healthy thyme leaves has creeped me a bit. Considering that this sporangial stage ought to last a day, that’s the grace period I give it, after that I’ll have to come up with a strategy for extermination.