Sunday, November 15, 2009

Peculiar Mushrooms

Here are three unique mushrooms I came across in the jungle recently. The first is a striking, bright orange mushroom about 2 inches tall. The second is a mushroom of many names, but more commonly known as the Stinkhorn. The third is the phosphorescent Glow Mushroom.

This striking orange guy was found growing in thick leaf litter on the soggy forest ground. Don’t know what the scientific name is but it stood out from the dark, dank surroundings like a flashing red light! Most brightly-colored mushrooms, especially those without any insects feeding on it are poisonous.

This one is known by many names. Among the nicer sounding ones are Lady’s Veil, Veil Mushroom and Basket Mushroom. The not-so-flattering ones are Stink Horn, Devil’s Horn and Dog’s Penis to name a few. If I’m not mistaken, this one’s a Dictyophora indusiata, the species name referring to its veil or membrane-like growth (indusium). If it is indeed D. indusiata, then it is edible and consumed mostly by the Chinese in Malaysia. Don’t ask me why or what for, I can kinda guess, but better for you to google it yourself. :D

The Stinkhorn is known as such because it emits a smelly scent that attracts bugs and beetles which pollinate it. The one above, unfortunately, is no longer fresh and on its way out. I did not detect any smell. Perhaps the scent is faint and detectable only by the bugs it targets?

glow-in-the-dark-mushrooms 1
These Glow-in-the-dark mushrooms (Mycena sp.) are luminescent, emitting light in the darkness. There were quite a number of them growing on the trunk of a tree. Mushrooms are saprophytic, not parasitic; these were growing on the outer dead layer of the live tree. I didn’t collect any to light up my room, no. :P

Mushrooms often pop up everywhere when the first rains start to fall at the end of the dry season (June- August in Sarawak). They continue to emerge everywhere in the forest, on dead trunks, leaf litter, rotting bark, soil, well into the rainy season (the North East Monsoon begins in November and the torrential rains fall with a vengeance in December).

On a quick trek into the jungle at this time, one would be able to see mushrooms of all sorts such as cup fungi, bracket mushrooms, white mushrooms, brown ones, large, small, tall, flat, wide and the list goes on. Some are edible but many too are poisonous. When in doubt, don’t touch it!


Anonymous said...

Those Glow in the Dark mushrooms are delightful !

Thank you for all of your wonderful piccies. Ellen NZ

sarawaklens said...

Hi Ellen, thanks and drop by again soon!

daniel said...

looovely ones! Recently I got one of my mushroom pictures published at "Mysterious mushrooms", a cool book from Japan :)

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