Slime mold on sweet potato stems

Q: What are these spongy growths on my sweet potato plant? They’re shaped kind of like eggs.

A: This is a harmless slime mold growing on the plant stems. It is not really a mold or a fungus.

Slime molds are common in warm, moist locations but the actual appearance will vary but the most frequently spotted variety is orange to yellow in color and looks like dog’s vomit. They can grow two feet in diameter and occur on moist rotting vegetation. You will usually find slime molds in garden mulch or thick grass clippings.

The easiest control is to wash them off.