luminescence

Jan Bosselaers dochterland at VILLAGE.UUNET.BE
Tue Sep 22 01:08:18 CDT 1998


Rodney S. Hanley wrote:
>
> Again speaking of luminescence,
>
> Robin Scribailo's description of luminescent tree roots made me think of
> the "Jack-O-Lantern" mushroom (Omphalotus illudens) found throughout
> most of eastern US.  This fungus often grows in enormous clusters at the
> base of stumps and on buried roots (often common in gardens and lawns)
> of oaks and other deciduous trees.  When the fungus is fresh (typically
> in the fall), the gills glow a bright greenish-yellow.  Pretty cool and
> somewhat ominous when you stumbled upon a clump in dark forest.
>

In Europe we have Armillaria mellea which frequently parasitises on tree
trunks. The mushrooms themselves are not luminescent, but the mycelium
in the wood is. As Wakefield and Dennis write in "Common British Fungi"
(p. 124): "Another interesting feature of this fungus is that the
mycelium when actively growing is luminous"
I saw this myself long ago at night in a wood, and it is ominous
indeed.  I know that Armillaria caligata occurs in Eastern North
America. Maybe this fungus has similar properties.

Cheers,

Jan
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jan Bosselaers
"Dochterland", R. novarumlaan 2
B-2340 Beerse, Belgium                       tel 32-14-615896
home: dochterland at village.uunet.be           fax 32-14-610306
work: jbossela at janbe.jnj.com
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"Temeritas est damnare quod nescias" Seneca




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