The title of the most terrible and unusual mushroom in the world quite deservedly received several mushrooms at once, growing in different countries and continents. The mushroom “devil's fingers” or “devil's hand” is especially popular, but there are others, no less exotic, with an unusual appearance of mushrooms.
Mushroom "devil's fingers" or cuttlefish mushroom
The scientific name is Anthurus Archer or Clathrus archeri. This type of mushroom belongs to the genus Reshetochka or Clathrus and the family Veselkovye. Young fruit bodies in diameter are approximately 40-60 mm. The form is pear-shaped or ovoid. There are long mycelial cords at the base of the fruiting body. There is no obvious leg, and the inside is porous and wrinkled, resembling a sponge, with dark spots and an unpleasant odor attracting insects.
In appearance, the fruiting body resembles the pinkish-red tentacles of an octopus or a starfish. This mushroom is classified as inedible, and its homeland is the Australian expanses and the territory of Tasmania.
Phallus indusiatus belongs to the Veselkovye family, and it got its unusual name due to the presence of a characteristic lace “veil” that entangles the fruit body. The hat is covered with a mucous substance of greenish-brown coloring with a strong smell attracting insects. In vivo grows in South Asia and Africa, as well as in Australia and America.
The Phallus indusiatus Vent fungus, which is listed in the Red Book, lives only one day after maturation. In East Asia, it is considered a delicacy and an aphrodisiac, and in China since 1979 it has been grown on an industrial scale and is very much in demand as the main ingredient in many exotic dishes.
Clavaria Zollinger, or Coral Mushroom
Clavaria zollingeri belongs to the genus Clavaria, from the Latin Clavaria. The average height of the fruiting body is not more than 10-15 cm. Multiple branching is characteristic, and the average size of each branch does not exceed 1-2 x 1-4 mm.
Staining can range from cream to pale brown with a bluish tint. There are specimens with amethyst and pale violet staining. The pulp of the mushroom is quite fragile, brownish staining, without a pronounced mushroom taste. There is a faint rare smell. This humus saprotroph bears fruit from the last decade of summer to mid-autumn. This species is listed in the rare species of foreign countries and in the Red Book of Chelyabinsk.
Polypore multicolored, or "turkey tail"
Trametes versicolor belongs to the category of widespread polypore, saprophytes. It got its name due to the very unusual coloring of the surface of the fruiting body. The mushroom "tail of the turkey" has harsh, thin, semicircular hats, the diameter of which does not exceed 10 cm.
The fruiting bodies of the fungus are collected in groups. The surface is divided into multi-colored zones, which are represented by white, gray, blue and black uneven stripes and have a velvety or silky-shiny appearance. The multi-colored tinder fungus grows in whole colonies on rotten stumps or branches of deciduous trees.
Gidnellum peka, from the Latin Hydnellum peckii, is also known to many under the frightening names "bloody tooth" or "devil's tooth." The fruiting body of this fungus can be either simple or fused. It has flattened or pressed-in, velvety, scaly hats, the diameter of which does not exceed 65 mm. The cap of the young mushroom most often has a white or slightly yellowish color.
For older specimens, a reddish-black, violet-black or brownish coloration of the cap with pronounced concentric rings is characteristic. Mushroom flesh of pinkish-beige or beige-brown color, yellowish streaks are present. The taste of the mushroom is very bitter, which makes it impossible to eat it.
Sarcoscifa Scarlet, or "Elven Cup"
Saprophyte Sarcoscypha coccinea belongs to marsupials from the genus Sarkoscif and the Sarkoscif family. It grows on rotting wood and has become widespread almost everywhere. A cup-shaped fruit body is formed in the early spring. The name is obtained due to a very unusual appearance.
The inside of the fruiting body has a contrasting coloration compared to the lighter color of the outside. The size of the mushroom is relatively small. The mushroom of this species is edible and tasty enough, but did not deserve special attention of mushroom pickers, which is due to too elastic flesh and a relatively low level of fruiting.
Brainworm, or forest brain
The fungus Tremella encephala belongs to a fairly widespread genus of Tremella and has a characteristic jelly-like, pinkish-colored fruiting body that parasitizes fungi of the species Stereum sanguinolentum. The fruit bodies of the yeast are gelatinous and dull.
Staining can range from pale pink to yellowish pink. The size in the cross section does not exceed 30 mm. By its appearance, this mushroom is very reminiscent of the human brain, inside contains a whitish color, a fairly solid central part. This inedible mushroom is quite widespread in the northern temperate latitudes.
The Devil's Cigar
The scientific name for this unusual fungus is Chorioactis geaster (Peck) Kupfer ex Eckblad. At the ripening stage, the fruit body of the “devil's cigar” opens with a very unusual hiss and smoke from a crumbling spore powder.
As a result of this disclosure, the mushroom acquires a very unusual star shape with three to six rays. The fruiting body of this fungus was first described by the botanist Lucien Marcus Underwood. At the moment, Chorioactis geaster is one of the rarest mushrooms on our planet.
The glass is striped, or "bird's nest"
The fungus Cyathus striatus, growing in groups on decaying wood or plant debris, is known to many as the striped nest or bird's nest. In our country it is often found on old straw and wood dust. The most widespread in the Novosibirsk region and on the outskirts of Novosibirsk.
The height of the fruiting body does not exceed 10 mm. Young specimens are characterized by an ovoid or spherical closed fruit body, which, with age, opens in the form of a bowl. A mushroom of this species is not toxic, but is not used as food due to its very low palatability.
The fungus Auricularia auricula-judae in eastern countries is considered a real delicacy, and it is widely cultivated in China. The dimensions of the fruiting body of auricular auricularis can vary within 3-12 cm.
In appearance, the mushroom is similar to the reddish-brown staining of the ears, grows on dying or weakened deciduous wood, in the territory of forest zones with a temperate and subtropical climate. In many countries, Auricularia is used as a beneficial fungus with a therapeutic effect on colds and fevers.
Unusual mushrooms (video)
Seeing at least one of these unusual mushrooms for a lover of a quiet hunt is a great success. A photo with an interesting copy will be the pride of the collection of any mushroom picker.