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Jack-o-Lantern

Omphalotus olivascens

Description:

Large, yellow fungi standing 1 foot tall. Last image shows the size. This fungi is toxic. "The Jack O'Lantern fungus is sometimes also called a False Chanterelle because of its yellowish color and decurrent gills. It can, however, be distinguished from the true chanterelle, Cantharellus cibarius, by a combination of characters: Cantharellus cibarius has ridges rather than true gills, never develops the olive tones of the Jack O'Lantern, and grows in oak duff, not on rotting wood. Omphalotus olivascens is interesting in that the fruiting bodies are luminescent, at least when fresh, though to appreciate this quality requires sitting for many minutes in a completely dark room before the greenish glow becomes visible. In fresh specimens this glow is sometimes bright enough to read a newspaper!"

Habitat:

Grassy field surrounded by Willow and Oak. I couldn't see a stump underneath to see what it was growing on. "Clustered at the base of hardwood stumps or from buried roots; most common with oaks and Eucalyptus. Fruits from late fall through mid-winter."

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11 Comments

KarenSaxton
KarenSaxton 7 years ago

Hence the name Jack O Lantern :)

Thank you gully.moy!

gully.moy
gully.moy 7 years ago

Omphalotus species, some glow in the dark - check it out! Definitely not Chanterelles as others have said due to size and well developed gills.

Thank you Kathleen and ulvalactuca77!

ulvalactuca77
ulvalactuca77 7 years ago

This is a most lovely fungi!

Amazing and beautiful!! and agree with Karen that they are not chanterelles.

KarenSaxton
KarenSaxton 7 years ago

Late fall is best for general mushroom photography. earlier is good for just eating :)

You are a wealth of information! Thank you. I'll most definitely take you up on shrooming! I regret not photographing nature when I lived there. There are always vacations to make up for it :)

KarenSaxton
KarenSaxton 7 years ago

They are difficult. I know people who study fungi who say they wouldn't eat any unless they did a microscopic exam first. I use David Arora's books and a couple of local mentors.
In favor of a Chanterelle id
1. Chantys are rarely that big,.
2. The gills show some "branching"
Against a Chanterelle id
1. The color is odd
2. The cluster is almost reminiscent of an oyster mushroom
3. Gills show a "knife edge"
4. No apparent stem
5. Chantys grow with Douglas fir and/or hemlock

I think they most closely resemble Jack O Lantern, except for the lack of an obvious stem. If you can see them in the dark at night and see if they glow in the dark, that would confirm Jack O Lantern.

If you're ever our way int he fall, I'll take you out on a shrooming expedition :)

Hi Karen, I don't think I'll ever learn fungi :( Thank you for letting me know. I'll removed it from the description.

KarenSaxton
KarenSaxton 7 years ago

My gut and my eye says they are not Chanterelles: which I hunt all season long. These have true gills, a darker color and are growing in a true cluster

Escondido, California, USA

Spotted on Dec 2, 2013
Submitted on Dec 3, 2013

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