Monday, April 7, 2014

First Monday Mushroom: Violet Coral

The Violet Coral, Clavaria zollingeri, is a clavaroid, or club, fungus that is named because of its vibrant purple hued fruiting bodies.
Clavaria zollingeri 90973
Violet Coral, Clavaria zollingeri
Being saprobic, the violet coral is generally found near crops of hardwoods or around mosses, where it breaks down organics in the soil. Its distribution is wide, being found from Australia, to North America, to Asia, and rarely even in Europe.

Kingdom:....... ...Fungi
   Division:....... ...Basidiomycota
        Class: ......   ...Agaricomycetes
         Order:.....    ....Agaricales
          Family:.....     ......Clavariaceae
             Genus:....        ........Clavaria
              Species:..            ......C. zollingeri

Photo Cred:  By This image was created by user Dan Molter (shroomydan) at Mushroom Observer, a source for mycological images. You can contact this user here. [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fungal Word Friday: Sporangium

Spores are formed and spread a variety of ways. an enclosure in which they are formed is called a sporangium.... Its greek origin literally means Spore vessel.
A sporangium can be just a single cell or it can be made up of multiple cells. In some species of fungi can even be one of the most noticeable parts of its fruiting body.
Each of the black dots are a Pilobolus sporangium
Photo cred: By 19Adelheid (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fungal Word Friday: Spore

So here we are, about a year and a half since the first fungal word Friday and I have not thought to one of the most well known fungal words; spore. I rectify that today!

A spore is the reproductive cell of fungi. It can be unicellular or multicellular and formed through either meiosis or mitosis. Spores in fungi are so diverse that they can be used as an identifier of fungi for several groupings in the Kingdom.

Spores in asci of Morchella elata
Fusarium spores
Fusarium spores
Amanita muscaria spores
Amanita muscaria spores
Chrysosporium spores 160X
Chrysosporium spores

 As you can see from just these four randomly selected fungal spore pictures, they come in a vast array of sizes, shapes, colors, and packaging. Spores, while used for reproduction and dispersal are a complex part of what we all know is the complex life of a fungus.

Photo Creds:
By Peter G. Werner (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

 By Gerald Holmes [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

 By Madjack74 (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

 By Ninjatacoshell (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fungal Word Friday: Phialide

A phialide is an elongated and flask shaped (where it gets its name) projection rising from the vesicle in certain fungal groups, such as Aspergillus.

Aspergillus terreus
Aspergillus terreus sporting some mighty fine phialides.
Phialides extend out of the mycelium and serve as the basal cell for increasing chains of conidia

Photo Cred: Medmyco at English Wikipedia [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, March 3, 2014

First Mushroom Monday: Parrot Waxcap

The parrot waxcap, Hygrocybe psittacina, is a small and colorful mycorrhizal mushroom found in northern latitudes. It fruits in late summer and into autumn with a green umbonate cap that gains a yellow or pink tinge as it ages. The stipe of the parrot waxcap is a greenish yellow and the gills are green with yellow trim. The mushroom is only about 1-2 inches tall with a cap that only gets up to about 1 inch in diameter.

Hygrocybe psittacina 54530
Parrot Waxcap, Hygrocybe psittacina

Despite it's small size and coating of a mucus-like substance, it is still considered by many as edible.


Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Hygrophoraceae
Genus: Hygrocybe
Species: Hygrocybe psittacina

Photo Cred: By Dan Molter (shroomydan) (Hygrocybe psittacina (Schaeff.) P. Kumm. (54530)) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fungal Word Friday: Macronematous

Macronematous refers to conidiophore that are noticeably morphologically different from the vegetative hypha they arise from.

Macronematous conidiophores of Ramichloridium indicum

Photo cred:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fungal Word Friday: Annulus

One feature that is helpful in identification of many mushrooms is the presence of an Annulus. And what is an annulus? Here you go:

Amanita muscaria After Rain
Amanita muscaria with distinct annulus
Well, as you see in this picture, it is simply a ring around the stipe of a mushroom. A remnant of the mushroom's partial veil.

Photo Cred: By JJ Harrison ( (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons