Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 02/05/2014

Photo taken on August 29, 2013

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Icefields Parkway
W of Calgary
Hydnellum peckii
Bleeding Hydnellum
Strawberries and cream
Highway 93
Bleeding tooth fungus
Devil's tooth
trail to lookout
Red juice tooth
Rocky Mountains
Banff National Park
Peyto Lake
Anne Elliott

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Strawberries and cream fungus

Strawberries and cream fungus
I was so thrilled to see this rare fungus (Hydnellum peckii) again, when friend Sandy and I went along the Icefields Parkway to Peyto Lake (and a little further, to Mistaya Canyon), on 29 August 2013. I had seen it maybe three or so times before, but it is such a treat to see. So unusual and beautiful. There were several of these all together along the trail to the lake lookout - and nearby was a blue species, complete with a few blueish-white droplets. While we were looking at them and I was taking photos, a young guy stopped to see what we were looking at. He, too, took photos. A short while later, we bumped into him at the Peyto Lake lookout and he showed us his hands and fingers that had turned orange. I wondered if he had actually touched the fungus. On our walk back through the forest to the parking lot, I stopped to take a few more photos of them, resting my hands on the ground. Sure enough, I ended up with orange hands, too. Would this be from spores? This specimen may have been something like an inch in length, and has "teeth", not gills underneath, which unfortunately you can't see.

"Hydnellum peckii is an inedible fungus, and a member of the genus Hydnellum of the family Bankeraceae. It is a hydnoid species, producing spores on the surface of vertical spines or tooth-like projections that hang from the undersurface of the fruit bodies. It is found in North America, Europe, and was recently discovered in Iran (2008) and Korea (2010). Hydnellum peckii is a mycorrhizal species, and forms mutually beneficial relationships with a variety of coniferous trees, growing on the ground singly, scattered, or in fused masses.

The fruit bodies typically have a funnel-shaped cap with a white edge, although the shape can be highly variable. Young, moist fruit bodies can "bleed" a bright red juice that contains a pigment known to have anticoagulant properties similar to heparin. The unusual appearance of the young fruit bodies has earned the species several descriptive common names, including strawberries and cream, the bleeding Hydnellum, the bleeding tooth fungus, the red-juice tooth, and the Devil's tooth. Although Hydnellum peckii fruit bodies are readily identifiable when young, they become brown and nondescript when they age." From Wikipedia.

The following has been taken from the excellent UBC Botany Photo of the Day website (September 2013), which used this image:

"Hydnellum peckii, of the Bankeraceae, is a species of fungus that is widely distributed in North America. The aboveground growth is typically observed in the late summer or autumn, either growing in clusters or occurring singly. This species forms an ectomycorrhizal relationship with several different species of conifers.

The caps are often pinkish, but can be white to brown to black, as the colour and texture vary depending on age and the environmental conditions. In moist weather, bright red droplets often appear atop the cap, making this mushroom easy to identify. Characteristic to this genus, the spores are produced on pendant tooth-like projections called spines. The spores are brown, round to nearly round, and are prominently warted. The solid or woody stalk is cylindrical and is generally tapered toward the base (see: Arora, D. 1986. Mushrooms Demystified. Berkeley California: Ten Speed Press).

This mushroom is considered inedible, at least partly due to its burning-acrid taste and tough corky texture."

GoSloMo, Barra1man (Leaving ), LeapFrog have particularly liked this photo

Haha ... great colours and "looks" delicious ... LOL ... great find and shot of this Anne ...
4 years ago.
Barra1man (Leaving )
Barra1man (Leaving )
A dandy macro shot! Great detail and interesting find.
Have a grand day!

Seen and Appreciated in Nature et Biodiversite.
4 years ago.
Cats 99
Cats 99
It IS pretty cool! Yet, I am quite sure I wouldn't try eating it, in spite of it's delicious name!
4 years ago.
Fab photo.
4 years ago.