The Country Diary of a GenX Woman

Fluted Funnel Fungus

fungus funnel paxillusThis funnel shaped fungus is either the paxillus infundibuliformis or the deadly poisonous paxillus involutus and I am not going to test it to find out.  Both have a cap up to 150mm wide with rolled rims, are ochre in colour, and have forked gills that extend down the stem.   The first one is common in Eucalyptus forest and the second, though primarily a Northern Hemisphere species has been unintentionally introduced to Australia, with pine, beech and oak trees, and we are next to a pine plantation.

According to Wikipedia: Paxillus involutus forms mycorrhizal relationships with  trees which benefit from the symbiosis as the fungus reduces their intake of heavy metals and increases resistance to paxillus infundibuliformis
pathogens.  Previously considered edible and eaten widely in Eastern and Central Europe, it has been found to be dangerously poisonous and responsible for deaths. It had been known to cause gastric upsets when eaten, but was more recently found to cause potentially fatal autoimmune hemolysis.  An antigen in the mushroom triggers the immune system to attack red blood cells.  Serious and potentially fatal complications include acute renal failure, shock, acute respiratory failure, and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

(Austro)paxillus infundibuliformis, is peculiar to Australia.


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Inspired by The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady