Only a very small proportion of the thousands of species of fungi in the world can cause disease in plants or animals – these are the pathogenic fungi. The vast majority of fungi are saprophytic, feeding on dead organic material, and as such are harmless and often beneficial. Just occasionally, however, the growth of saprophytic fungi can be a nuisance to the gardener.
Scientific name Many different species
Plants affected These fungi do not cause plant disease
Caused by Fungi
Timing Present year-round, but fruiting bodies are seen most frequently in autumn
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