A cluster of Oudemansiella mucida (Physalacriaceae), better known as Porcelain fungus.
Oudemansiella mucida is specific to beech wood. It appears in autumn on dead trunks and on fallen branches, and occasionally it also grows on dead branches high up in living trees. When these mushrooms grow underneath a large branch or a fallen trunk, the stems curl so that the caps are all held horizontal and with their gills facing downwards - as seen on the photo.
This mushrooms are common and widespread in Britain, Ireland, and throughout northern Europe.
Oudemansiella mucida releases a powerful fungicide that deters or even anihilates competitors. Known as a strobilurins, these kinds of anti-fungal agents are used increasingly to protect crops from attacks by powdery mildews and other microfungi.
“I am a big fan of mushrooms,” writes Your Shot member Agorastos Papatsanis. He encountered these specimens on Mount Olympus. “On one of my autumn excursions in the beech forest, I found this amazing Porcelain Fungus (Oudemansiella mucida). I was drawn to their cyclic hats with the radial paths of the gills, the amazing porcelain texture, and the combination of rain and sun. I used the available bright sunlight as a backlight and enhanced it with an off-camera flash to create this atmosphere.”
Papatsanis’s picture recently appeared in the Your Shot assignment Macro.
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