Friday, 5 January 2018

Orange Pore Fungus

Image: epitree
Favolaschia calocera
They call it the Orange Pore Fungus but in my heart, it will always be the Waffle on a Stick.

Doesn't it look like the perfect breakfast snack?

Image: Jon Sullivan
A little dollop of carefully sculpted, fried sunshine.

I bet a single bite provides the recommended calorie intake of an average Olympic swimmer, but who can have just one...

Image: epitree
When you can have dozens!

This perky little mushroom reaches about 3 cm (1.2 in) in diameter and grows on logs.

Image: Michael (inski)
The waffle texture is only on the underside. Where many other mushrooms have gills, the Orange Pore Fungus releases its spores through those pores instead.

An Orange Pore Fungus is seldom found alone.

Image: Jon Sullivan
Usually, you can see entire parades of them trooping their colour, that colour being a shade of orange usually associated with only the most plasticy and chemically enhanced of cheeses.

The Orange Pore Fungus was first discovered in Madagascar in 1945, hot on the heels of other plasticy creations like nylon, Teflon and styrofoam.

Image: Bernard Spragg. NZ
Since it's discovery, the Orange Pore Fungus has really taken the world by storm. These days they can be found in Italy and China, Hawaii and Kenya, Australia and New Zealand. And they do well, too. Some people call it a 'fungal weed'. It isn't even clear whether they were native to Madagascar in the first place.

Were these mushrooms really just lying about somewhere and no one noticed until the mid-20th century? How could anyone seriously miss these things? They're not little brown mushrooms, they're WAFFLES!

Image: epitree
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that the Orange Pore Fungus is a living, plastic entity created in a lab during World War II before it escaped its confines and now government agencies across the world are scrambling to confine its spread before it wreaks the kind of havoc it was designed for.

I'm just saying... Put it this way: I'm just saying.

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