Thursday, December 18, 2014

No 'shroom at the inn.

One good thing, and only one, about all the recent rain that has fallen in the Bay Area (seemingly directly onto me), is the amount of fungi that have popped up around Vinoland, and the places that I roam about with Vinodog 2.  There are mushrooms everywhere and the variety is amazing, each one a little more fantastical than the next.
Whilst the Death Cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides) is not particularly weird to look at, it is grotesque in its reputation: the Death Cap is the mushroom responsible for the most mushroom related deaths worldwide.  But what makes this non-native species so interesting to me is the fact that in California the Death Cap can be found growing under cork oaks (Quercus suber).  This Amanita is considered a beneficial mycorrhizal fungus as it lives on the roots of live cork oaks, providing the tree with nutrients - such as magnesium and phosphorous - in exchange for carbohydrates.  It is believed that Death Cap spores were first brought to North America on cork oak seedlings and it has since adapted to living on native California Quercus species.  This particular 'shroom was growing, all alone I might add, under a very large oak tree (not a Q. suber) right next to the house.
Yikes, I suppose I'd better take a good look at the cork that's bunging up this evenings wine offering.

8 comments:

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: Mycology has long been an interest of mine, but you have added nicely to my understanding of the death cap. Since there are easily over a million species of fungus/mushrooms, and the Panther Amanita(Amanita pantherina)is a kissing cousin of the death-cap, what cork floated this one to the new world?
Be sure to catch tomorrow's post; it might make you homesick! The wine being just okay, though adequate.

Thomas said...

I learned something today for sure.

Mille grazie, VG.

Thud said...

Very festive!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Holy floating corks and spores! Mother Nature is great, isn't she?

Tomasso: That I'm not overly fond of rain? Just joking.
That mushrooms are fun guys? (Someone please, stop me.)

Thud: It is sort of. Luke 2:7.

About Last Weekend said...

More rain and you'll be having more phantasmagoria mushrooms!

Thomas said...

VG, Aren't there any mushroom gals?

Thud said...

I cant be bothered looking!

Vinogirl said...

ALW: Life is weird enough without taking hallucinogens :)

Tomasso: Fungal means something totally different. Probably not fun!

Thud: Now, that's festive.