Maltese Fungus found by fungi hunters

Take a look at this bunch of weirdos…

Maltese Fungus Cynomorium coccineum

It’s an organism commonly referred to as Maltese Fungus, and from its general appearance you might think it is a relative of the various kinds of earthball fungi (Scleroderma species or Pisolithus species, for example), but no… this strange eruption from dry rocky soil is in fact a plant, and one of the rarest of Mediterranean species. Its scientific name is Cynomorium coccineum, and we found it (with help from our friend Finn Rasmussen, who discovered a colony in the same area a month or so go) on the Algarve clifftops near Albufeira.

Okay, now back to fungi hunting…

Red Cage Outrage

Searching for Morels in perfect Morel habitat in southern France at the ideal time (late April), I found a total of zero. Rien. Zilch. Nothing at all in the way of fungi… except lots of very stinky┬áRed Cage fungi Clathrus ruber. One colony, covering about 10 square metres, contained at least 30 fruitbodies, from early egg stage to ripe and rancid with flies munching the spore-laden gleba so eagerly that even the presence of a camera lens a few cm away would not deter them. Well, it was a roadside picnic site…

Clathrus-ruberFrance1

The mad Morel search continues…