Leon M. Lederman Science Education Center

Fermilab's Interesting Fungi



INKY CAP(Coprinus comatus)

Often called Shaggy Mane or Lawyer's Wig, it is among the more exotic of the gilled mushrooms. Spores develop on the surface of the gills as they do in other gilled mushrooms. As the Inky Cap spores are released, the mushroom produces a substance that begins to dissolve the gills. The gills melt away in an inky black fluid (often within 24 hours) that gives the mushroom its common name. They are considered quite a choice edible mushroom when unexpanded and white. (Caution should be taken in eating any mushroom found in the outdoors.)






(Daedalea quercina) This species of mushroom usually grows on dead oak trees and is shelflike or stalkless. Instead of gills on a fruiting body it has pores where spores are produced.





Foliose (leafy) lichen often resemble mosses or other simple plants growing on rocks, tree trunks, the sides of buildings and other substrates. Lichens are an association of fungi and algae. Tiny green or blue-green alga live among the fungal hyphae. The alga provides the fungus with food and it is suspected the fungal mycelium retains moisture providing the alga with water, minerals and protection.