Mysteries in the Malaysian Forest: A Tour of Odd Mushrooms - Part II
Delve into the mysterious world of Malaysian mycology and see some of the most peculiar and fascinating mushrooms that you may have never heard of before.
Last time we explored the weird and wonderful world of mushrooms found in Malaysia, and today we're back with even more intriguing discoveries from the Malaysian forest.
If you missed Part I, you can catch up here.
So, what kind of bizarre mushrooms are found in Malaysia?
Let's start with the earthstar, which gets its name from its star-like shape and the fact that it typically grows on the ground.
But the earthstar mushroom found in Malaysia is extra weird because it actually grows on trees and woody debris. This mushroom defies convention and grows on the bark of trees like some sort of arboreal alien.
Another strange find is the red stinkcage fungus (Clathrus treubii), which looks exactly like its common name suggests.
This mushroom, which is bright red and has long, tentacle-like appendages, smells like rotting flesh in order to attract flies that will help spread its spores. It's certainly not the most pleasant of mushrooms, but it's definitely unique…
Unidentified (Favolaschia sp.)
I came across this trippy black mushroom at Bukit Kiara, KL and would have to rank it up there as one of the most unusual finds. The patterning reminds me of Genus Favolaschia, but I’m unsure.
Enter, the wood ear mushroom, which is strange not because of its appearance but because of its texture. This is a common mushroom found around the world, but the kind found in the tropics can be quite translucent.
This mushroom is edible and commonly used in Chinese cuisine, but when cooked it takes on a gelatinous, rubbery texture that can be off-putting to some. Still, it's fascinating to think that a mushroom can have such a distinct mouthfeel.
Echinoporia hydnophora is a relatively lesser-known species of fungus and they remind me of porcupines.
Echinoporia hydnophora is known only from Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and tropical and subtropical Taiwan, and plays a crucial ecological role by decomposing wood, recycling nutrients, and maintaining the balance of forest ecosystems.
The genus is monotypic, containing only a single species, Coniolepiota spongodes. It was first described from Thailand, and later also reported from Bangladesh and China.
I call them “Purple Powdercaps” and when young remind me of stalagmites.
These are just a few examples of the weird and wonderful mushrooms that can be found in the Malaysian forest. It's amazing to think about the variety of life that exists in even a small patch of forest, and mushrooms are just one small part of that ecosystem. So remember, keep your head down and observe your surroundings.
Till next time.
Thanks for reading Myconeer! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.