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Plants 

Mushrooms & Other Fungi

PLEASE NOTE: No plants may be removed from High Park. See Park Rules.

The following Q&As are adapted from an interview of Richard Aaron conducted by staff of the High Park Nature Centre, where Richard offered a workshop in Fall 2012. Reproduced with permission. Special thanks to Richard Aaron and Katarina Marjan.


 
Agaricus sp.
Katarina Marjan

Why do you love mushrooms?

There is a certain air of mystery about mushrooms. They can pop up overnight and are found in a surprising variety of places such as on trees, leaves, twigs, dung, animal hooves, etc. Some mushrooms even form partnerships with plant roots. Plus mushrooms come in a bewildering variety of colours, shapes, and sizes. Some even smell like cucumber, radish, curry, anise, watermelon rind, shellfish, maraschino cherry, and a range of other odours. All these things make mushrooms very intriguing to me.

What are some of the amazing fall mushrooms that you have seen in High Park?

Amanita virosa - Destroying Angel
Bob Yukich

High Park has many interesting species of fungi, including corals, birds nests, earthstars, polypores, and giant puffballs. But perhaps my most amazing find in High Park was the Netted Stinkhorn (Dictyophora duplicata) I found more than a decade ago. Not only does it have a unique shape, but it has a really awful odour that flies are attracted to. The flies inadvertently help to spread the spores.

Can you describe the funkiest mushroom you have ever seen?

I’ve seen many remarkable mushrooms and other fungi over the years, but certainly the fungus I saw growing out of a dead cicada would be in my top five. Other top contenders would be several species that glow in the dark, and another that packs its spores into balls and shoots them out like a cannon.

Know any good mushroom jokes?

Puffball sp. (with nickel on top)
Bob Yukich

“How many mushrooms does it take to change a light bulb?”

“Zero! They like to grow in the dark.”

See also:

List of Species found at Mushrooms and Other Fungi Workshop, Oct. 14, 2012

Mycological Society of Toronto

Richard Aaron's Fungi Workshop, The Star, Sept. 29, 2013



Photo Gallery

Grifola frondosa - Hen of the Woods
Katarina Marjan
Laetiporus sulphureus - Chicken of the Woods
Katarina Marjan
Ganoderma applanatum - Artist's Conk
Katarina Marjan
Ischnoderma resinosum - Resinous Polypore
Katarina Marjan
Entoloma sp.
Katarina Marjan
Trametes versicolor - Turkey Tail
Katarina Marjan
Pholiota sp. (possibly P. aurivella)
Katarina Marjan
Cantharellus cinnabarinus - Cinnabar Chantarelle
Katarina Marjan
Daldinia concentrica - Carbon Balls
Katarina Marjan
Gyrodon merulioides - Ash Tree Bolete
Katarina Marjan

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Content last modified on September 29, 2013, at 05:04 PM EST