Fungi on dead wood

Rainforest Fungi Pt. 1       Rainforest Fungi Pt. 2      
 Woodland Fungi  Pt1

Woodland Fungi pt 2

"Fungi Land"


It has been estimated that 250,000 species of fungi, mostly unnamed, exist in Australia. This is ten times as many as we have of flowering plants and ferns. Yet for many decades they have been virtually ignored here and many kinds still await names and formal descriptions. The reasons for such neglect are: an inherent, but quite unreasonable antipathy to the group as a whole because some are highly poisonous (but so too are hemlock, oleander, foxglove and other familiar flowers), the ephemeral nature of numerous delicate gilled fungi, the necessity for a microscope in critical examinations of structure and relationship, but above all the dearth of literature that would aid in identification of common local fungi.

Edibility - There are some species that are edible but there are also some very poisonous species. In European (and some Asian) countries, centuries of experience have identified the species that can be safely eaten. In Australia, unfortunately, such knowledge does not exist for the vast majority of species.   As a point of safety, generally, all species in the wild should be regarded as potentially poisonous.

Further reading   "A Field Guide to Australian Fungi" - Bruce Fuhrer
                          "Australian Fungi Illustrated" - I.R. McCann