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Monday, October 7, 2013

Mushrooms Common in the Desert After Rain

Q. After the great rain last week I have large mushrooms with diameters of  8 inches in  my back yard.  One is in the middle of my Mexican Bird of Paradise.  Will it kill the plant?  My friend’s dog wants to eat the mushroom.  Is that dangerous?

A. Mushrooms are common after rains in the desert and elsewhere but particularly in the desert. They feed off of decaying organic matter (organic debris like rotting wood, rotting plant life, particularly dead plants). They are a normal part of the recycling process.

So when rain falls and wets dead organic matter that was previously dry due to the desert, the recycling process begins until it becomes too dry again and then stops. Just knock the tops off and destroy with a rake.
Mushrooms in mulch at orchard after rain
There are no guarantees the mushrooms are not poisonous so please dispose of them before the dogs eat them. The mushroom in the middle of your Mexican bird of paradise is feeding on something dead and decomposing. It will not attack something living so I would not be concerned.

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