molybdites is one of the
larger mushrooms common in Southern California. Most of the mushroom
fungus is hidden under ground in the from of many wide spread,
microscopically thin threads. The mushroom we see is the fruiting body
which produces spores, and distributes them to the wind.
the mycelium (the tangled thread like
body of the fungus) may continue growing in the soil for many years, we
are not likely to see it. When mature, a dense mass of the threads
forms below the surface. When conditions are right, wet and humid, the
expands upward rapidly as a button.
A day or
so after the mushroom has expanded,
we see that critters have been nibbling around the edges.
the mushroom over we can see how the
white gills have changed to greenish as the spores mature. Note the
ring around the stipe (stem) where the edge of the cap was attached in
the button stage.
Here is a size clue for these beautiful fungi.
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