Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Mushroom at gharthikere

Mushroom at gharthikere
Originally uploaded by Time Machine.

This picture was captured near Garthikere ( Western Ghats, India) during my visit there. The mushroom had grown on a rock on the river bed. The habitate had high humidity & had dense forest surrounding the place . Also we were planning to include this mushroom in our next days break fast. Since we had seen this fungi for the first time, we decided not to. However on return when we checked the details of the fungi, we got few interesting results. In case you come across this mushroom i would like to suggest you, some interesting experiments with them.
Jack-O-Lantern mushroom. (Omphalotus, Clitocybe). which grows on Base of stumps, decaying tree roots and are Poisonous. It should be fairly obvious from the picture where this fungus gets its common name-- it's bright orange like the pumpkins used to make Jack-O-Lanterns. However, it is not so obvious from the picture the other reason for the common name. This fungus actually glows in the dark! Not the whole fungus, but just the gills on the underside of the mushroom. If you find these mushrooms, take them into a very dark room and stare at the gills of the fungus until your eyes become acclimated to the dark-- you should see an eerie greenish glow emanating from the mushrooms. The glow is caused by the presence of luciferases, waste products or secondary metabolites from the physiological activities of the mycelium of the fungi. Putting the wastes into the above-ground fruiting structure is the fungus's way of getting rid of its waste products. Omphalotus olearius can often be found in large quantities, such as you see here. They smell very good, and many people have been tempted to eat this fungus. -- but it's poisonous. Omphalotus poisoning usually manifests itself as severe cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, all of which can last up to a few days. This fungi won't kill you-- it will just make you wish you were dead.

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