Gymnopilus junonius (syn: Gymnopilus spectabilis )(Prachtvlamhoed (BE) / Spectacular rustgill or "Big Laughing Jim (Gym)" (EN) / Beringter Flämmling (DE) /Gymnopile remarquable (FR)) is a species of fungus in the Strophariaceae family. In Japan this mushroom is called waraitake, which translates to "laughing mushroom".
This impressive mushroom is found growing in dense clusters on stumps and logs of both hardwoods and conifers and has a stem that is usually about 1 or 2 cm thick. The orange to brownish orange cap can reach up to 40 cm and is silky or ornamented with tiny appressed fibers or scales, sometimes adorned with partial veil remnants. In this image you can see immature specimens with the partial veil still protecting the gills.
Gymnopilus junonius is incredibly bitter to the taste, but considered inedible for far more interesting reasons; psilocybin and psilocin have both been found in the mushrooms. These compounds are commonly known as hallucinogens, and are what gives rise to a variety of nicknames involving the term "laughing."
Image: Schoten (BE) - 22/10/2010
© Johan Dierckx
The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.
All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.
(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)
Please feel free to visit my personal website http://www.diversitasnaturae.be/