15 June 2007

Ileodictyon cibarium - Lattice Fungus

This is the most interesting fungus I have seen for quite some time. Obviously conditions were perfect because there were a number of specimens in the one area, at various stages of growth and decay.

Firstly was this strange little shape. It actually looked quite bizarre as its windows wobbled in the breeze. These things aren't small either. I suppose this would be about the size of an adult fist. Very strange and jellyish looking.

Next the membranes broke open and this funny looking crumpled thing unfolded. I can't say how long each stage lasted because, as I said, I saw all of them on the same day. They were in an area where new leaf mulch had been purchased and spread out in the last couple of months Whether they came in with the leaf mulch and then grew or were already in the ground and enjoyed the conditions I don't know.

After the unfurling it looked just like a little plastic indoor ball.

Here's the ball complete now and then follows the decay as the ball collapses in on itself.

All that's left are the lattice shapes of the fungus ball that was.