• The Devils Cigar is said to be the world's rarest fungi.
• It has only been discoverd in less than five sites in the world.
• It produces a distinct whistle sound when releasing it’s spores.
A star-shaped mushroom, called the Devil’s Cigar (Chorioactis geaster) is one of the worlds rarest fungi. This fungi had been detected only in central Texas, two remote locations in Japan, and most recently in the mountains of Nara.
The Devil’s Cigar is a dark brown cigar-shaped capsule that transforms into a tan-coloured star when it splits open to release its spores. It is also one of only a few known fungi that produce a distinct whistle sound when releasing it’s spores.
In October 2006 Masakuni Kimura, curator of a natural history museum in the town of Kawakami, first encountered twelve Devil’s Cigars growing from a dead oak tree near a mountain stream at an elevation of 470 meters. Nearly a year later he discovered four more mushrooms when he and a colleague returned to the site. At all the sites where the Devil’s Cigar was founded, they were observed growing on dead oak trees near a stream. The fungus is included on the red list of threatened species published by Japan’s Environment Ministry.
2. Shrooms that squiggle and stinks
This is a very interesting fungi, called the Octopus stinkhorn (Clathrus columnatus). They all have a foul-smelling slime covering part of the fruiting body. With the odor of fresh dog feces, the stinkhorn attracts green bottle flies to dispers. The octopus stinkhorn with its branched fingers belongs to the Clathraceae family. The dark colored slime clings to the inside of the structure and smells like something died.
They are indigenous to Australia and Tasmania and an introduced species in Europe and North America. The young fungus erupts from a suberumpent egg by forming into four to seven elongated slender arms initially erect and attached at the top. The arms then unfold to reveal a pinkish-red interiour covered with a dark-olive spore-containing gleba.
3. The Sea Anemone fungus
Aseroë rubra, commonly known as the Anemone Stinkhorn or Sea Anemone fungus, is a widespread Australian fungus. Just like the octopus stinkhorn it is recognizable for its foul odour of carrion and its unique anemone shape. Found in gardens on mulch and in grassy areas, it resembles a red star-shaped structure covered in brownish slime on a white stalk. It attracts flies, which spread its spores.
4. Bird's Nest fungi
• Bird's Nest fungi look like small bird's nests complete with eggs.
• The Bird's Nest fungi use the hydraulic pressure of water to disperse their peridioles: the cup is the right shape and size that when the water hits the bottom of the cup it splashes out with enough force to disperse the peridioles up to a meter away.
Bird's Nest fungi belong to the family Nidulariaceae with the most common genera in New Zealand are Nidula, Cyathus, and Crucibulum. As bird's nest fungi are decomposers of organic material, they are found most often in New Zealand on decaying wood, small twigs, tree fern debris and sometimes on animal dung. In urban environments they often be found in sawdust, woodchip, or well enriched soil, and landscaping timber.
As their common name suggests they look like small bird's nests complete with eggs. The nest is a splash cup which is light to dark brown or white on the outside and white, grey or brown on the inside, this depending on species. With smooth flaring sides between 4 to 10 mm in diameter and 6 to 20 mm in height, again depending on species Immature Bird Nest have a cap over the top of the splash cup to protect the eggs, which brakes away at maturity.
The Bird's Nest fungi use the hydraulic pressure of water to disperse their peridioles. This is achieved by rainwater or water dripping off foliage above, dripping into the splash cup. This cup is the right shape and size that when the water hits the bottom of the cup it splashes out with enough force to disperse the peridioles up to a meter away. When the peridioles land on a solid object, like a leaf or twig they stick to it by one of two ways depending on the species. 5. Fungi with flare
The mushrooms are part of the genus Mycena, a group that includes about 500 species worldwide. Of these only 33 are known to be bioluminescent—capable of producing light through a chemical reaction. Ten bioluminescent fungi species—four of which are new to science—was discovered in Brazil's tropical forests.
6. The Bleeding Tooth fungus
Hydnellum peckii is a common, inedible fungus, also known as bleeding tooth fungus, often found beneath conifers. It possesses a funnel-shaped cap, and is best known for "bleeding" a red liquid. This liquid contains a mushroom pigment called atromentin, which has anticoagulant properties similar to heparin. Its normal cap diameter is between 5 and 15 cm (2-6 in).
7. The Earthstar
The Geastrum saccatum or Earthstar is a small but beautiful mushroom that features a round spore case sitting atop a star with 4-9 arms. These odd mushrooms resemble cookies, laying scattered on the dark forest floor. Like the puffball, when ripe, the center sac gives off a puff of spores when poked. They grow gregariously under hardwoods or conifers; often appearing around stumps; spring through fall. These are widespread throughout North America.
8. The Black Trumphet
• Black Trumpet (Craterllus Cornucopioides), is considered a great delicacy, being one of the most eagerly sought-after choice wild edible mushrooms.
• The mushroom has a fruity taste simular to the taste of apricots • In France the Black Trumpet is sometimes referred to as "la viande des pauvres" meaning "poor people's meat", because of its plenitude in difficult economic times and is much favored there.
The fragrent and often abundent Black Chanterelle or Black Trumpet (Craterellus fallax) is a popular mushroom in French cusine because of it's unique flavor and texture. Its habitat is throughout the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere as well as southeastern Australia. This mushroom does not typically grow on wood.
9. The Cedar-apple Rust fungus
The cedar-apple rust fungus (G. juniperi-virginianae) forms light brown to reddish or chocolate brown galls in the leaf axils of infected Juniperus species. These galls are not very noticeable until wet weather occurs in the spring, when they produce orange gelatinous "horns", turning the galls into slimy, spiky balls. Spores produced in the slime travel by wind to infect the apple or hawthorn host.
The fungus infects the apple or hawthorn plant in the spring, producing bright orange spots on the tops of leaves, hence the name "rust". The spots enlarge, and by the end of the summer the underside of each spot contains long, spiny eruptions from which spores are produced. Spores from these eruptions do not re-infect the apple or hawthorn, but rather infect the cedar host, completing the life cycle.
10 . A brain on a stem
This weird-looking but beautifully colored species of mushroom resembles a human brain. False Morels as it is popularly known, is widely distributed across Europe and North America. It normally grows in sandy soils under coniferous trees, in spring and early summer. Although potentially fatal if eaten raw, it is a popular delicacy in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and the upper Great lakes region of North America.