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Artillery Fungus

What are those spots on the siding of my house, my car or plants? These spots may actually be spores from a group of fungi commonly called "shotgun" or "artillery" fungi.

They are in the genus Sphaerobolus. These fungi colonize on dung or other organic matter such as wood mulch.

The artillery fungi grow on organic matter and create dark brown spore packets, called peridioles, that sit on top of specialized cup-shaped cells.  When the cells accumulate enough liquid, the cupped cells invert causing the cells to burst and propel the peridoles up to 6 meters high where they adhere to surfaces such as house siding, cars, plants, or other structures.