There are literally thousands of different species of mushrooms, some are edible and some are 100% poisonous. Being able to decipher the tasty from the deadly takes a whole lot of mushroom research! While mushrooms might be sold alongside the veggies in the produce isle, mushrooms are not a vegetable nor are they a fruit. Mushrooms are a fungus.
While fungus brings to mind undesirable thoughts, mushrooms are actually quite beautiful, and when carefully selected they can also make a healthy dietary option. Here are some of the most incredible mushroom photographs showing the vast diversity in this often ignored species of life.
This type of mushroom really comes to life in the dark with its bioluminescent qualities. The first recorded descriptions of this glowing mushroom dates back to 1860. Since then mycena chlorophos have been found in Brazil, Australia, Polynesia, Java, Sri Lanka, Japan, subtropical Asia, and Taiwan.
Also known as the wrinkled peach, this mushroom can be a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes due to variations caused by light received during development.
This mushroom species includes a vast number of different looking mushrooms, most of which can be found in wood chip beds, sand-based soil, and dry grasslands.
Despite the fact this mushroom appears to leak strawberry jam, it is not edible. You can find this unique mushroom in Europe, North America, Iran, and most recently in Korea as of 2010. Due to its appearance it has earned names like strawberries and cream, and the bleeding tooth fungus. It’s the young and moist mushrooms that secrete these unique pigments known for their anticoagulant properties.
A part of the stinkhorn family, this type of mushroom is more appropriately referred to as the red cage. This species of mushroom starts off with a round egg-like appearance before sprouting its intricate detailing. Clathrus ruber was identified and illustrated way back in 1560 by Conrad Gesner, a Swiss naturalist.
Also known as the flutter bird’s nest, this type of mushroom is popular in temperate regions.
This species of mushroom is pretty enough to be used as wall decor in any fancy home or hotel.
This mushroom looks like its wearing a wig, and can often be found growing right at the center of a beautiful green lawn, as well as gravel roads, and dumping grounds.
This fungi truly looks like it is from another world…
Snails often use mushrooms as their own personal stepping stones.
These mushrooms look like flowers, but don’t let the petals fool you they are still a fungus.
There are over 400 different types of lepiotas, some so dangerous to eat they are deadly.
The crepidotus mushroom is small and ranges in colors from vivid shades of red to orange and yellow bursts of color.
Tiny Gold Mushrooms
This mushroom literally appears to be lit up from the inside. As unique as this mushroom looks, it is from the Morchellaceae family, one of the most widely recognized, sought after, and edible mushrooms out there.
With bright orange coloring and vivid pores, these mushrooms are often known as orange pore fungus. This is a very invasive species, once it takes hold of an area it is known to wipe out native fungi. It is currently causing some concern due to rapid growth rates in the paleotropics.
These brown-bodied mushrooms get their name because when they fully mature they release their spores in a dust-like cloud that resembles a mini explosion. Puffballs are mainly used in Tibet to make a dark colored ink.
Photo Credits: Martin Pfister, Steve Axford, Axford, Eric Balcon, Bart Wursten, Patricia Woods, Bernhard Pfister, Megan Lorenz, Andres Miguel Dominguez, H Richard Ellis, Bernard Spragg, Steve Greaves, Mariana Armata, Juan Carlos Poveda Molero, Wojciech Grzanka, Mark Watson, Roeselien Raimond, Maneesh