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Jack—O—Lantern: Omphalotus olivascens

Jack—O—Lantern: Omphalotus olivascens - Fungi species | sokos jishebi | სოკოს ჯიშები

Jack—O—Lantern: Omphalotus olivascens

Pileus
Cap 6-18 cm broad, convex, broadly convex at maturity; margin incurved at first, expanding and becoming wavy, upturned in age; surface smooth, moist, dull orange to orange-brown, developing olive tones; flesh thin, pliant, same color as cap; odor and taste mild.

Lamellae
Gills decurrent, concolorous with cap or lighter, luminescent; veil absent.

Stipe
Stipe 5-15 cm long, 1-4 cm thick, central to off-central, tapering downward, smooth, yellowish-olive, with brown stains at the base.

Spores
Spores 6.5-8 x 6-6.5 µm, globose to ovoid, smooth, nonamyloid. Spore print cream to pale yellow.

Habitat
Clustered at the base of hardwood stumps or from buried roots; most common with oaks and Eucalyptus. Fruits from late fall through mid-winter.

Edibility
Toxic; causes severe gastrointestinal upsets.

Comments
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!

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