A Bioluminescent Mushroom

This morning I stopped by the Cornell Mushroom Blog, one of my favorite mycophile sites. The latest post features a short video of a mushroom known as Panellus stypticus as it responds to darkness by displaying an unearthly green glow. I wonder why this fungus has evolved this trait? Perhaps to attract some night-flying disseminator of spores? Here’s a screenshot:

Glowing mushroom

If you would like to see the video just click on the link below. You might have to right-click on the video screen and select “Refresh”, as the video is short and it may have played before you scroll down to it:

Evening Glow At Cornell

While you are at the site check out the archives of past articles. Kathie Hodge and her students have posted many accessible and interesting articles about the world of fungi.


6 comments on “A Bioluminescent Mushroom

  1. Joan says:

    Shine Little Mushrooms
    (To the tune of “Glow Worm”)

    Shine little mushrooms. Shimmer shimmer.
    Just as the outside light grows dimmer
    Shine with a phosphorescent glow.
    Glow little mushrooms glow.

    I heard a story somewhat frightening.
    Someone said schrooms when zapped by lightening
    Sped up their procreation. Whoa!
    Now they won’t grow so slow.

    Don’t know if these schrooms are that species.
    Most thrive in rot and animal feces
    These are lit up like lightbulbs though
    Wonder how we could know.

    I’ll bet if these are good for dinner
    They could turn out to be a winner
    No need for candles. Lights down low.
    Glow little mushrooms glow

  2. Darrell says:

    Recall the Jefferson Airplane lyric ” . . . ask Alice . . .”??
    Happy New Year All!!! And Larry, lets make this “the year when things turn around”!

  3. Joan says:

    When You Gotta Glow, You’ve Gotta Glow

    I saw some mushrooms in the swamp.
    They glowed a greenish hue.
    The sight was eerie beautiful
    But what was I to do?

    If I reported what I’d seen
    To friends, my bliss to share
    They’d laugh and say that I was seeing
    Things that were not there.

    This was a new experience
    For me. Twas quite a treat
    To see a vision such as this
    From schrooms I did not eat.

    Happy New Year Larry, and his fine extended family, Virginia, Darrell, and all the rest of y’all whose names do not immediately come to the tip of my keyboard. (but I swear it’s more or less memory slippage from age and not schrooms. (grin) .

  4. Virginia says:

    May 2011 be a great year for each of you.

  5. Darrell says:

    Isn’t mycological luminescence a standard device for illuminated underworlds in fantasy literature?

  6. Joan says:

    I don’t know, Darrell. I don’t read much fantasy literature…but it sounds good. Never read Lord of the Rings . Is that the underworld you meant?

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