The Fungus Among Us

The fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), a poisonous, though not deadly, species, Denmark.

Am I the only one humming the theme song from the smurfs?

This red and white capped fungus is a gorgeous, albeit poisonous, fly agaric (Amanita muscaria). Agarics are one of the largest groups of fungi with more than 500 genera and thousands of species worldwide. If you were to tip this specimen over, you would see a lovely array of gills. This group of fungi dispersed its spores from spaces between the gills which explains their more-or-less vertical arrangement.

This lovely photograph is found in The Kingdom of Fungi by Jens H. Petersen. Learn more about the book here: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9969.html