The Country Diary of a GenX Woman

Not so Fabby Fungus

20130519 013Well, it is not as attractive as the Ghost Fungus, but it may actually be more beneficial as it is a mycorrhizal fungus, an important component of soil life and soil chemistry.  We have them all around the property, especially in and around the ex-gravel pit, they start as short clubs but they develop into smooth mounds like the one I photographed last year.  Pisolithus tinctorius is frequently found in fungi mixtures for forestry and gardening to assist plant or tree growth.   In Australia and the US it is called the dog poo/horse dung fungus and in Europe it is known as the Bohemian truffle.  The puffball’s black viscous gel has been used as a natural dye for wool and clothes.

Mushrooms that are mycorrhizal are involved in a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship with the tiny rootlets of plants–usually trees.  The cells of the mushroom’s mycelium surround the tree rootlets with a sheath, and the mushroom helps the tree absorb water and nutrients while the tree provides sugars and amino acids to the mushroom. The organisms may need each other to survive. It is estimated that about 85% of plants depend on mycorrhizal relationships with fungi (Kirk et al., 2001;Dictionary of the Fungi).




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Inspired by The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady