The other day when I went to water my plants I had a fleeting thought upon catching first glimpse of the soil:
"Oh, man - some rotten kid has stuffed yellow Nerf darts in my pots' soil! How did they even get onto my patio?!"
(That's my beautiful bougainvillea, by the way. It is finally blooming after I gave it some fertilized soil this summer.)
So, anyway, upon further inspection, it turns out the little yellow things weren't Nerf paraphernalia. In actuality they were growths coming right out of the soil. I still wasn't sure what they were, but I'd find out.
After stumbling around searching online I finally discovered that these little yellow things are mushrooms! Specifically, these shrooms are Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii.
A professor from the University of Wisconsin had a nice, informative page about them:
Leucocoprinus birnbaumii (luke-o-kuh-PRY-niss burn-BAUM-eee-eye) is a common mushroom in house plants and greenhouses or any other place with organically rich soil where the temperature is warm . [...] It's a bright colorful mushroom that helps those of us in the far north get through the long, mostly mushroomlesss winter. It's also very common in the south in warmer climates, where it can grow outdoors, especially in mulched flower beds.
And now I know what those growths were. Some websites recommended letting them grow because they are so dastardly difficult to get rid of. Even if you replace the soil they can still come back. I've decided to try to remove them. So far I've plucked 4 or 5. They grow SO fast, I'm sure there are a couple waiting to be yanked today.
In other news, my newest flowers are starting to really get growing. No buds or blooms yet, but hopefully soon!