MUSHROOM EXTRAVAGANZA

MUSHROOM EXTRAVAGANZA

Meet another fascinating species that shares the same ecosystem as orangutans. While its life is short, its unique appearance is truly unforgettable.  

The Bridal Veil Mushroom (Phallus indusiatus) is a type of fungus that grows solitary on fertile soil or in the remains of moist, rotting wood. In some cases, it is also found growing in groups, though in limited numbers. It has a rather short life cycle, beginning with the emergence of the stalk, followed by the blooming of its cap, and eventually drooping and disappearing from its original growing place.

Unlike others, the Bridal Veil Mushroom is conical in shape and has a white stalk covered by a cap on its head. The cap is truly one-of-a-kind, with a dark brown to blackish top and an intricate woven-looking decoration covering its whole surface, resembling a lace veil, hence the name The Bridal Veil Mushroom.

Attractive and stinky
This mushroom’s exudate has an intense and gripping stink, which attracts insects and also gives the mushroom its other name, the stinkhorn. Flying insects indirectly contribute to spreading spores after they come into contact with the mushroom. So far, researchers have identified about 181 taxa of Phallus.

Previously reported as an edible mushroom with various benefits, fascinated readers can learn more in the full article by Habtemariam (2019), “The Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Therapeutic Potential of the Edible Mushroom Dictyophora indusiata (Vent ex. Pers.) Fischer (Synn. Phallus indusiatus).” 

Safety first
However, we don’t encourage anyone to go out foraging for this forest treasure, as Habtemariam warns us that “there is still much debate regarding the safety of consuming this mushroom. Due to continuing issues concerning its safety, it is not recommended to consume it without proper information and empirical experience.”

Learn more about our work here.

Photo: BOS Foundation | Fitriyanti Bunga

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