Saturday, May 16, 2009

Getting Excited Over A Fungus

Damp and humid conditions the past week and a decision to take the route of the usual morning walks yielded the first sighting of a Stinkhorn Mushroom. Been looking for these mushrooms for sometime now and finally seeing one was like touching the lottery. This mushroom is the Long Net Stinkhorn or Veiled Lady, was just sitting by the path and as usual no one else noticed it but me. I finally got to see its delicate veil or skirt close-up and it was intricate to say the least.Stinkhorns are known for their foul smelling sticky spore masses, borne on the end of stalks. The spore mass typically smells of carrion or dung, and attracts flies and other insects to help disperse the spores.
This mushroom lasts only for several hours in the morning. Close to noon, this was what was left of the Stinkhorn.Insects that were feeding on the mushroom. I am pretty that I had eaten stinkhorn mushrooms at a Chinese restaurant before. Sure enough I found out that the Long Net Stinkhorn mushroom (zhu sheng) is commonly used in Chinese soups, braised dishes and stir-fries. They are always sold in dried form as the odor disappears during the drying process. When reconstituted and cooked, the mushrooms have a spongy texture, yet one that simultaneously offers a bit of crunchiness. That was why I remembered them.


eunice said...

this is very pretty, thanks for sharing :)

Shirls said...

You're welcome Eunice.