The apple that grew teeth

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday 11 September 2014 07:33

A few days ago I went upstairs to the record's centre to volunteer my rock-pooling skills at an upcoming staff meeting (it's a hard life!) and I saw Bob unwrapping what I thought was a slice of cake. I was surprised to see it was a section of tooth fungus, sent in by John Cooban from his Crawley garden. Before I knew it I was looking at an email chain from the county fungi recorder, Martin Allison, stating that this was a county first! I couldn't resist the opportunity and asked John if I could go up and have a look...

...this is the Orchard Tooth Sarcodontia crocea and it's a BAP species. The book states it smells strongly of pineapple and aniseed. I did get a hint of this but it wasn't always strong. The fungus was growing from an old apple tree, literally bursting out of any possible place it could. It was much more impressive than I was expecting with most manifestations about the size of your forearm.  

The flesh was a lovely subtle yellow, looking like stalactites in an underground cave. It's great that this appeared in the garden of someone who recognised it as something different and can appreciate the subtle beauty of something as unusual as this. Nice work John!

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