Different Colors of Mold

This week I found an area of mold that was bright orange. The color of orange that Clemson University uses. Once we had it at the lab, it was identified it as Penicillium Aspergillus. In the lab, through the microscope, it had a distinct golden hue.

In most situations, the color of Penicillium Aspergillus is not orange. So why the color in this case?
I have not seen an explanation for the different colors of mold but my experience tells me this.

These are the most common types of mold we see:

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Aspergillus
  • Chaetimium
  • Stachybotrys
  • Epicoccum
  • Periconia/smuts/browns
  • Myoxometes
  • Basidiospores
  • Ascospores

I have not seen an explanation for the different colors of mold but my experience tells me this:

Even though these 10 molds are some of the most often identified molds there are more than several hundred types of molds and more yet to be discovered.
Considering how many species of mold and that we typically only find a few colors such as black, gray, brown, and a greenish yellow, you might think the colors would be unlimited.
Many people believe if they find mold that is black, that they have Black Mold (Stachybotrys).
The truth is, just because an instance of mold is black does not necessarily mean it is that it is Stachybotrys or toxic, even though this could be true.

What I have noticed from my field experience is the color of the mold is related to what the mold is growing on and the species of mold it is.

  • Gray, green, and yellow is ususally surface growth on sheetrock or wood.
  • Grey water damaged ceiling tiles.
  • Brown and grey wood in a crawlspace.
  • Dark thick black – very wet water damage sheetrock and likely stachybotrys.

So, back to the case of the orange mold. Why was it orange? It appears to be pulling the color from the pine sap at a knot in the floor joists. Not that interesting, but it did make for good picture.
No matter what the color of the mold, if you are seeing mold then there is an underlying moisture problem. Most likely, you need need a proper cleanup for the resulting mold and someone to solve the underlying moisture concern.

Carolina Air Care/ Advanced Environmental Services has more than 20 years of experience in the mold remediation field.

If you find mold in your home or business, don’t wait till people get sick. We can handle every step of the mold removal process from testing to completion.


John has over 23 years of Indoor Air Quality experience. Some of the certifications he holds are: C.I.E Certified Indoor Environmentalist #00666 C.M.R Certified Mold Remediator #04124 Construction Engineering Technology Degree NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaning Association) Certifications: A.S.C.S Air System Cleaning Specialist # 9011357 C.V.I Certified Ventilation System Inspector # C203080526 V.S.M.R Ventilation System Mold Remediator # V303060706 Active Member of IAQA #1070 EPA Radon Certified
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