Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom

It’s orange, so you bet this mushroom has been named for your human holiday!

Jack-o'-Lantern mushroom

We’re a few days late, but Hickory and I just ran across a Jack-o’-Lantern mushroom, Omphalotus olearius, and wanted to share it.

Not only is this mushroom orange, but its gills glows in the dark–when the mushrooms are newly sprouted, which these are not. We squirrels didn’t try to photograph the glow, so suggest you look at the Cornell Mushroom Blog. The cool thing is, it’s the same luminescent enzyme, luciferase, that makes fireflies glow.

Jack-o'-Lantern mushroom

Besides looking a bit ragged, these may even be eaten around the edges, but that’s not by humans! Do not touch this species, because like many of the scary things about Halloween, this mushroom is poisonous.

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