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Do you know – Mushrooms?

11 October 2009

As a gesture of thanks to all the visitors  to the post “Mushrooms – by Sylvia Plath“, this ‘Do  You Know?’ has been placed.

Did you know that –

* the mental picture we have of a mushroom with cap, gills and stalk is typical only of the Agaricales, (an example being the store-bought White mushroom). The wide variety of shapes a mushroom can take can be understood from their names – polypores, puffballs, jelly fungi, coral fungi, bracket fungi, stinkhorns, and cup fungi.

Fungi such as this one is considered as a mushroom.

Polypore fungi such as this one are considered as mushrooms.

Unidentified mushroom growing on a decaying log in Calais, France

Unidentified filamentous mushroom growing on a decaying log in Calais, France

Woody bracket fungus - also considered a mushroom!

Ungulina marginata, a woody bracket fungus - also considered a mushroom!

Yellow Coral Mushroom

Yellow Coral Mushroom

* not all mushrooms are edible, the vast majority of these produce a vast array of toxins and allergens. You should only eat a commercially produced mushroom or a known edible mushroom reliably identified by an expert.

Shiitake - an edible Japanese mushroom whch was the subject of word play in an Austin Powells movie.

Shiitake - an edible Japanese mushroom whch was the subject of word play in an Austin Powells movie.

* many mushrooms produce secondary metabolites that render them toxic, mind-altering, or even bioluminescent.

Foxfire is the term for the bioluminescence created by a few species of fungi, such as 'Omphaltos nidiformes' that decay wood.

Foxfire is the term for the bioluminescence created by a few species of fungi, such as Ghost Mushroom 'Omphaltos nidiformes' that decay wood.

Panellus stipticus, a green bioluminescent bracket fungus.

Panellus stipticus, a green bioluminescent bracket fungus.

* the term ‘toad-stool’ was used in earlier times for poisonous mushrooms.

Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) is the quintessential mushroom of British folklore.

Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) is the quintessential toadstool of British folklore.

The Death-cap (amanita phalloides) contains amatoxins which are toxi to the liver. It resembles several common edible mushrooms and thus features in many accidental poisoning cases.

The Death-cap (Amanita phalloides) contains amatoxins which are toxic to the liver. It resembles several common edible mushrooms and thus features in many accidental poisoning cases.

* though mushrooms are commonly thought to have little nutritional value, many species have nutritional or medicinal value. Many mushrooms are high in fiber and provide vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, cobalamines, ascorbic acid. Mushrooms are also a source of some minerals, including selenium, potassium and phosphorus.

White or button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) ready for cooking. While common, they are just one of the many types of mushrooms cultivated and eaten.

White or button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) ready for cooking. While common, they are just one of the many types of mushrooms cultivated and eaten.

* some mushrooms, if exposed to UV light can become valuable sources of Vitamin D.

* poisonous mushrooms containing hallucinogenic substances are eaten by some people in order to get a ‘high’!

Dried psilocybe mushrooms contain hallucinogenic substances such as Psilocin and Psilobycin and were known to the Aztecs as 'divine mushrooms'. (Notice the characteristic blue bruising by the end of the stems.)

Dried psilocybe mushrooms contain hallucinogenic substances such as Psilocin and Psilobycin and were known to the Aztecs as 'divine mushrooms'. (Notice the characteristic blue bruising by the end of the stems.)

* oyster mushrooms, a widely eaten mushroom,  naturally contain the cholesterol drug lovastatin.

The Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is the subject of many medical research initiatives.

The Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is the subject of many medical research initiatives.

* that a large number of valuable drugs such as penicillin, lovastatin, ciclosporin, griseofulvin, cephalosporin, and ergometrine, have been isolated from the fungi kingdom.

Collection of medicinal mushrooms including Enoki, King Oyster mushrooms, and Shiitake.

Collection of medicinal mushrooms including Enoki, King Oyster mushrooms, and Shiitake.

* that in Tolkien‘s trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” the favourite food of hobbits is mushrooms.

A Hobbit - an image by Andre DeWitt

A Hobbit - an image by Andrew DeWitt

Credits –

* All mushrooms – Wikimedia Commons. Original filenames have not been changed for all the photos.

* A Hobbit – Andrew DeWitt, drew this picture at ehow.com to show us how to draw a hobbit! Used non commercially here under ‘fair use’.

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The butterflydiaries ‘Scribbler’ awards go to….-

26 September 2009

rotteneggstrikes

Avdi, she who brings eggs that be rotten to her feast, hath given me ye famous award.

The Superior Scribbler Award!

The Superior Scribbler Award!

As is the case with awards, ye olde “you scratch my @%$e, I’ll scratch you%’$” rule applieth.

I hereby proclaim ye grande old rules for all to follow:-

Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to five most deserving blog friends.

Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog and link to the original post at The Scholastic Scribe which explains The Award.

Each blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit the original post at The Scholastic Scribe and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who wins This Prestigious Honor.

Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules to his/her blog.

Shince ve ar awl Indian and my blohg, excuz pliss, is of naturalist caste, you know…

So though I am enjaying sew menny good blogs – by penniless Roshmi-amma, Gilpa (Rosie)  Sharg, Mr farce, Miss-tedious Kadduji, LS didi, ty ‘notso’ nice, the finer noisy note and so menny udders…

the awards naturally going to these blogs…

(long roll of drumbeats….)

FlowergirlMadras Ramblings

There was a literary flowergirl of Madras
who had quite a cute little …  😉 blog
who wrote of birds and  things so passe
as a spider, plant, dragonfly and frog.

rocksea and sarah

Rocksea & Sarah

With his lady love in Italy
Rocksea may enjoying be
but he hasn’t lost the knack
of describing nature or  scenery

Shtory-tellerShtories & shtuff

“Mera Bharat is mahaan enough!”,
proclaims this naturalist undercover.
because of matunga-kaapichai-shai, shtories and shtuff
but no mention of forgotten courser!

Matunga kaapi

Anush ShettyAnush Shetty’s journal

In Anush‘s Livejournal
you never know what are the new treats
photos, anecdotes, delights eternal
culture, running, tech-stuff, tweets

Small wondersSmall Wonders

Yuwaraj, photographer extra-fine
sneak previews nature’s party
records cute little colourful vignettes
and blog-posts them in Marathi

There, that be done, begone all of ye and propagate five little scribblers each….

The Rotten Egg strikes again!

18 September 2009

Not satisfied by giving rotten reviews to books, Avdi threw a Rotten Egg at me. What’s more it struck and stuck.

I’m loath to clear up the mess below, what do you think?

Avdi strikes again....

Avdi strikes again....

More later, when I dish out these awards… myself   (evil smile, nasty grin).

The flowergirl and her birds

18 September 2009

FlowergirlIn the South Indian city of Madras
lives a sweet little nature-loving lass,
who rambled on about that city fair
And wrote about living things worthy of care.

One day, she got a bonnet in her bee;
She had just discovered the IATB,
where you find nice things that people had written
about our avian wonders; every reader was smitten.

iandthebirdlogoolive

Then she laboriously listed them in her post
of Madras Ramblings. What a sweet host!
For everyone to admire and to see.
All the publicity! That too for free!

What’s more it was all set to rhyme,

Hurry up there, we have no time!

Spinytailed Lizard - Clement FrancisJust to cut a short story long,
You’ll find there one of my song –
Of Spiny-tailed lizards and more than one raptor.

Never mind me, read her post!  Feel the rapture!