What Mushrooms Glow in the Dark: List of 16 Bioluminescent Fungi
Not only is nature something that is very important in our world but it is also one of the most beautiful, weird, and wonderful elements of our environment. Mushrooms, a species of fungi is one that has fascinated scientists, researchers, and environmental enthusiasts for centuries. It is known for its medical healing powers and mind-altering abilities, but there is a lot more to mushrooms than just the ones we eat for dinner.
There is a range of mushroom varieties known as bioluminescent mushrooms, or in more simple terms mushrooms that glow in the dark. These bizarre elements of nature are often found in places that are commonly hidden to the naked eye, such as behind caves and deep within the woods of our forests, and only really shine their true beauty in the darkest hours of the night.
Species of Glowing in the Dark Mushrooms
If you thought that the fact that a glowing mushroom is something that actually exists then this might boggle you, even more, there is not one, not two but around seventy different species of mushrooms that all possess the glow in the dark ability. They are considered to be one of the most supernatural elements of our entire planet and yet play a specific role in attracting a multitude of insects during the night. Although all these glowing fungi possesses the same out-of-this-world abilities, they are not all the same and each one has a specific type of glow as well as a reason as to why they glow in the dark. Some examples of the mushrooms that glow in the dark include :
Panellus Stipticus is the brightest of all the glowing mushrooms in the forests. It tends to be found grasping onto the sides of tree branches, where its flat shape is almost invisible during the day but lights up an almost fluorescent green color as soon as the sunsets. They can be found in many areas of Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. While these mushrooms are a thing of beauty they are also extremely toxic and should not be ingested in any way, shape, or form.
Also known as the ghost mushroom these luminescent fungi are quite commonly seen around the bushlands, parkways, and even the streets of parts of Australia. These mushrooms actually feed off of living tree tissue as well as dead plant matter and are only visible during the colder months of the year.
Also known as coconut flower mushrooms, the Neonothopanus Gardneri is one of the more rare species of bioluminescent fungi and was only rediscovered recently after disappearing for over 165 years. This mushroom is particularly native to the blooming forests of Brazil and can be found growing on the base and the leaves of palm trees. It is also one of the most powerful glowing mushrooms and spreads a bright green light that is almost blinding to the eye.
Nicknamed the Jack-O-Lantern, this mushroom is orange in color and is most commonly found attached to stumps or buried roots of decaying trees in the eastern side of North America. These mushrooms slightly resemble that of a chanterelle, however, they possess gills that light up in the dark and are extremely poisonous.
Another bioluminescent fungus that is part of the Panellus genus is Panellus Pusilius, a relatively small mushroom that grows in large clusters. They can be seen wrapped around the branches of trees almost like fairy lights, leaving a sparking string in a dark forest.
Armillaria Mella bioluminescence is a brown and orange-colored mushroom that can be found from the tip of North America all the way to Asia and is the most common and widespread of all the glowing mushrooms in the world. The interesting thing about this mushroom is that it actually glows from the bottom part of the mushroom which isn’t usually visible. This means most of its light is invisible and believe that it is a tactic in ensuring that insects and other animals do not eat it.
Otherwise known as the honey mushroom, this species of the Armillaria genus have a very beautiful and almost sticky-like golden hue. They are a lot rarer than armillaria Mella but are still seen in many regions throughout the world.
These are the most common type of glowing mushrooms and exist in large quantities but have a very short lifespan. They glow extremely brightly but only under very specific conditions and from there the moment of their birth, as the caps open they are at their brightest, and from then on the bright light begins to fade, but don’t worry they reproduce like bunnies.
These mushrooms are tiny, thin and long, and almost resemble a stick during the day. During the day they are basically invisible to the naked eye, but shine a bright green light and soon as the sun goes down. They are a rainforest fungus and can only be found exclusively in Brazil.
Another species of the Mycena genus is the bleeding fairy helmet, a fungus that is considered to be one of the most beautiful of all the luminist mushrooms. While it may not be the brightest of them all, its unique red latex makes it one that never goes unnoticed.
Another glowing cave mushroom is the Omphalotus Japonicus, a brown-colored gilled mushroom that is traditionally native to Jpan as well as other parts of eastern Asia. It is comprised of tiny fruit bodies that light up during the night, radiating throughout the forest, lighting a path for insects and other animals.
This is a relatively newly discovered species of mushroom that glows in the dark. Found in the depths of the forest of Meghalaya, this bright green glowing mushroom has led scientists and researchers to India as a way of documenting its introduction to the list of ever-growing glow-in-the-dark fungi species.
More commonly known as the lilac bonnet, Mycena Pura was one of the first glowing mushrooms to ever be discovered. This mushroom comes in colors of yellow, white, purple, and even bright blue and can be found in both grasslands and woodlands.
Another bioluminescent fungus is known as Armillaria Tabescens or the ringless honey fungus. These particular mushrooms species do not have a stem ring and are often packed tightly together like a bouquet of flowers. They are most commonly found attached to broadleaf trees and oaks in particular in many parts of southern Britain and Ireland.
This species of the mushroom genus is also a relatively new find which was come across by scientists when searching through an old-growth forest in Brazil where it was seen emitting luminescent green light throughout the night.
Last but not least is another one of the most beautiful fungi in the glowing mushroom forest. These mushrooms resemble something of a sprouting flower and glow in intricate detail, showing off their veins and capillaries in a way. They are commonly found in South America and tend to grow in rainforests with wet conditions.
Do Mushrooms Glow in the Dark?
As you can see the glow-in-the-dark mushrooms are a very real and beautiful part of nature, in which the examples listed in this article barely touch the surface of how many different species there are. They are a special and unique element of our environment and although poisonous to the touch should be treated with the utmost care and respect.
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