Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Honey Fungus Mushroom: Nasty but Tasty

The sudden change from September drought to October showers brings fresh challenges to the Abbey House Gardens. Spotted in the beds adjacent to the top lawn today was a rather unwelcome visitor, the Honey Fungus Mushroom. It absolutely loves old trunks and stumps as a place to grow, its probably sprung from the old Cherry Tree that once presided in that area of the gardens.
Below is a picture of the fungus, its an absolute enemy of all gardeners as its one of the most dangerous parasites for trees, causing an intensive white rot and ultimately death to any plant it infects. Not a welcome addition to the Rose beds. Its been dealt with immediately and all the roots and spores hopefully destroyed.

The Honey Fungus Mushroom does have some redeeming qualities, its non poisonous and edible. Ian is trying a clump with his breakfast after a bit of prep work. Fingers crossed as the nearest A&E is 10 miles away.

A fascinating and beautiful story attached to the Honey Mushroom Fungus relates back to Medieval times. The root (or Rhizomorph) of the mushroom that flourishes in the earth makes it way through the soil to find a tree or plant to infect. If you manage to catch one of the roots and then examine it in the dark you should find that its luminous. In medieval times they considered the roots to have healing qualities and used them to light hay barns and other ancient dwellings with clusters of them gathered together. These luminous roots developed the first ever notion of the 'magic wand'!!!

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