Species of Molds


Found throughout North America, with the greatest abundance being in areas where grain is grown.  The spores grow on organic debris in soil and leaves, flowers and fruits of vegetables, grains, and ornamental plants.  The highest numbers occur on dry days in the summer and fall from noon to 3 pm daily.


A common soil fungus that grows on stored food products under damp conditions.  It is common on grain and flour.  It is common in the house, especially in basements and appliance drip pans.  Also used in preparing soy sauce, sake, and organic chemicals.

Cladosporium (Hormodendrum)

It is the most common mold in the world and a common soil fungus.  Abundant in wet damp weather.  During hot dry weather, spore production declines.  As temperatures fall and humidity rises, production rises.  Found on dead vegetation and textiles, parasites on tomatoes, spinach, and bananas.


Spores are plentiful inside homes during the winter.  Green mold in basements and damp walls.  Common on fruit, textiles, grains, and flour.  Found on stored cheese (camembert, blue veined cheese, cheddar, and others).


Widespread, found in temperate regions, especially grasslands and agricultural areas.  Highest counts in dry, cool autumns in the  Midwest .  Spore counts rise and fall with mountain cedar pollen counts.  Will colonize on textiles and food stuffs.


Found worldwide, most common in warm areas, especially in the southern U.S.   Important in the  Midwest as it grows on farm crops, especially corn.  Grain thrashing operations release large quantities.  Peak production is around 2 pm.


Primarily outdoors with counts being high during mild weather months.  It grows on organic debris in the soil.


Increases during wet, rainy weather and requires splashing for their dispersal.  A prominent organism that loves dead leaves and plants.  Thrives in grouting in shower stalls (pink mold).  It is found in soil and is responsible for spoilage of chemicals, water, aircraft fuel, fruits, and vegetables.  Being enemy of both plant and man, it is the F in VFN-resistant tomato plants


It is important in the  Midwest  and the South, as it grows on farm crops, tomatoes, and grains.  If brown spots appear in your lawn in the late summer, it could be this mold.  It peaks in ragweed seasons.


Grows on ornamental flowers (peonies, lilacs, etc.) and certain evergreens in the cool wet spring and fall days.  It is the gray mold on grapes.  It is harmful to potato crops during very wet growing seasons.


It is important in the  Midwest as it grows on farm crops, grains, grasses, and flour.  Its spores are easily dispersed in the air by lawn mowing.  Some species develop on many plant parts such as ferns, gladioli, barley, and grass lawns.


Found mainly indoors, but also grows on organic debris in soil.  Black bread mold.


Found outdoors.  Known as red bread mold because of its prevalence in bakeries and flour mills.


Found everywhere in the outdoors.  Counts increase after it rains and when it is foggy.  Not a lot known about this mold.


A downy mildew which causes destruction to grapes, onions, lettuce, beans and grass.  Found especially after a few wet days.


A common bathroom mold.  Found everywhere spring through fall.


A major decomposer of wood and paper products, in soil or in the humid home.

Rusts and Smuts

Are plant pathogens, grown in large quantities on corn, oat, or wheat.  It is the black sooty material when you peel an onion.  Smuts are a destructive parasite of grains.  To humans living in the agricultural areas, they cause hay fever and suffering.


A basidiospore that develops in a fruiting body such as in gills of mushrooms, tubes of bracket fungi or pouches of puffballs.

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