The phenomenon of luminous mushrooms
There is such a thing as bioluminescence - the glow of living organisms. Luminous mushrooms are representatives of this phenomenon. Some species glow not only in the dark, but also during the day. Science provides various explanations for this phenomenon.
The phenomenon of luminous mushrooms
Luminous mushrooms were first identified in 1840 in Brazil. Then they disappeared and with time the luminescent fruiting bodies were again found in the same place. Mention of the phenomenon is found even in the works of Aristotle and writer Pliny the Elder.
Among these species there are many poisonous organisms. The size of the mushrooms does not exceed 3 cm in diameter. The most common is Mycena (nourish and decompose organic matter). The radiation is often yellowish-green in color, but it also happens to be light blue, deep red, etc. It is found in the forests of Japan, South America, Brazil, Belize, Puerto Rico and Jamaica, Southern Europe, etc.
More often the whole fruit body glows. In our latitudes, mushrooms are found in which light is in the mycelium. Scientific studies have revealed conflicting causes for this phenomenon:
- Chemical reaction - the pigment luciferin and oxygen are involved in the process. The pigment oxidizes and causes a greenish glow.
- Breeding method - they attract animals whose spores fall on their fur and are carried in the forest using this method.
- Prevention method - light notifies about the toxicity of fruiting bodies. But a defensive reaction is not always justified, because it can be edible.
The glow of most varieties is weak, it is visible only in the dark. But there are also such mushrooms that due to flickering are visible at a distance of 40 m. They are called Poromycena manipularis.
The fruit body usually glows whole
The radiation power of different types depends on such factors:
- life cycle duration;
- age of the fruiting body - old mushrooms no longer shine, unlike young ones;
- temperature - the most intense bioluminescence of these fungi is observed at 21 ° C;
- the amount of oxygen - the less it is, the weaker the glow.
Most common types
Luminous mushrooms have recently been represented by 68 varieties. But every year their number increases. The most famous include the following:
- Mycena luxaeterna - found near the Atlantic Ocean. They grow on knots of trees. The diameter is 0.8 cm. The leg is jelly-like. The name translates as "eternal light."
- Mycena silvaelucens - found on the island of Borneo (Malaysia). Hat sizes - 18 mm.
- Mycena luxarboricola or “light on a tree” is a type of luminous mushroom, the first specimens of which were found in Brazil. Most common in Parana. Diameter 0.5 cm.
- Pleurotus (Agaricus) olearius DC - grow in southern Europe. Prefer places under old trees. The fruiting bodies are large, the stalk is thick, the hat is yellow-golden. Glow whole.
- Xylaria Hypoxylon L - grow on beech stumps. Glow gives mycelium. Branched fruits.
- Armillaria mellea Vahl - mycelium of this variety destroys wood. Light and dark filaments of the mycelium penetrate the entire trunk. Because of the glow in the dark, it seems like the radiation comes from a tree.
- Gardneri Berk - found in Brazil. They grow on dead palm leaves.
Luminous mushrooms come in many varieties
Luminous mushrooms are used in medicine.
Luminous dictiophore possesses medicinal properties - a rare species that grows in the jungle. According to the recipe of Count Alessandro Cagliostro, an elixir is prepared from it, for which the following ingredients are required:
- 4 g dry chopped dictophores;
- 200 g of vodka or cognac;
The medicine is insisted 2 weeks. Take orally for 1 hour or 1 tbsp. l 3 times a day 15 minutes before meals. It can help in the treatment of a variety of diseases:
- fights cancer cells;
- gives the effect of rejuvenation;
- helps in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases;
- enhances potency.
To date, scientists from Russia, together with Brazilian and Japanese colleagues, have created mushrooms that glow with almost all the colors of the rainbow. Decorative lanterns from such mushrooms hanging from tree trunks or placed on the ground can decorate gardens.
It is worth trying to grow a luminous mushroom with your own hands. To get a quality crop, you need good seedlings. Luminescent fruiting bodies are a rarity, therefore, mycelium sticks are bought at special enterprises or in stores. It must be remembered that in nature such species grow more often in the humid tropics. The mushroom picker will begin to bear fruit if an appropriate microclimate is created.
Mushrooms glowing in the dark, or ghost mushrooms are especially common in tropical forests. Some of their species give such a strong radiation that they can be used like flashlights. Also, these organisms have healing properties.