Pocket Plum Gall

Caused by the fungus Taphrina pruni, this disease infects plums, sloe, and damsons (as well as other closely-related Prunus), making some of the fruits grow in an oblong shape, and fail to develop a stone. Vascular tissues of the plant are also deformed by the fungal mycelium, forming witch’s brooms

The local Mirabelles seem to be infected, although as you can see by the photo above, they still produce healthy fruits alongside the deformed ones. The fungus won’t kill the tree, but will certainly reduce the harvest.

The best solution is pruning out infected growth, and burning it to prevent the spread of more airborne spores.

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Radically Diverse Australian Fungi Photographed by Steve Axford

Photographer Steve Axford (previously) continues his quest to document some of the world’s most obscure fungi found in locations around Australia. Axford lives and works in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia where he often has to travel no further than his own back yard to make some of the discoveries you see here. The forms of fungi, slime molds, and lichens he prefers to document seem to have no limit in their diverse characteristics. Axford explained when we first featured his work last year that he suspects many of the tropical species he stumbles onto are often completely undocumented. You can follow more of Axford’s discoveries on Flickr and SmugMug. Thanks Colossal

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Posted by Andrew

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Fascinating Fungi

Mushrooms are lovely. Lovely to eat, lovely to look at, and the way they form is incredibly weird. Some fungi, like the “bleeding tooth” fungus pictured above, have beneficial medicinal properies. Others, like the Mario-esque Amanita above, is super, super poisonous.

(via Reddit user dwimback)

If you thought these were cool, we’ve got plenty more magnificent mushrooms in this gallery!

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The Department of Awesome Natural Wonders would like to remind us all that mushrooms are amazing. Just one of the things that makes them so fascinating is the remarkably fast pace with which they grow. They grow so quickly, appearing like magic overnight, particularly after rain, that time-lapse footage gives us a much better look at the process than our naked eyes ever could.

“These timelapses show the surprising power of mushroom buds, as they burst through the soil and elegantly expand their caps. What we see on the surface, though, is only a part of organism, called mushroom fruit. The fruit is a short-lived reproductive structure, consisting 92% of water (hence the speed of growth). Meanwhile, mycelium of the mushroom sits and sprouts from the soil. This part, in contrast to the fruit, can live for years.”

These time-lapse gifs were created using footage captured by BBCWorldwide, BBCWorldwide, WANDERMENT, Louie Schwartzberg, Adam4nt, Neil Bromhall, and Louie Schwartzberg respectively.

Visit Demilked for even more time-lapse growing mushroom gifs.

[via Demilked and Bored Panda]