I left a mattress directly on a hardwood floor, and some mold grew underneath. There is no insulation in the crawlspace beneath the floor, so the temperature differential between warm bodies sleeping on the mattress and cold air under the floor resulted in condensation between the mattress and the floor, which is a perfect place for mold to grow.
Mildew can also grow under potted plants and carpet, against uninsulated walls, in damp basements, if you have a water leak, or even under wet laundry left sitting too long.
Step 1: Try Wiping Up the Mold
The mildew growing on the intact polyurethaned surfaces wiped up so quickly that I didn't get a picture of it before we cleaned it up.