Green with Envy

That is what I am after hearing about Kathy’s mushroom experience!

Whoa, isn’t this a pretty cluster! FYI Kathy took this one and the next photo with her cell phone so colors are not as vibrant as in person.
Look at this beauty! Kathy finds them under the dead live oaks every year. Another cell phone photo.
Early stage. All the rest of the photos take with her pocket Canon camera.
A group starting to expand and grow.
The gills!

Kathy reports “They are so vibrant in color and this first cluster got SO big. About 6 inches across each. There were 15 clusters in all, most of the rest were their early stages.”

And besides just pretty to look at during the daylight hours, the genus Omphalotus is bioluminescent. Kathy has tentatively ID’d it as the Southern Jack O’lantern (Omphalotus subilludens)! And that should be bioluminescent. Well Kathy went back at night, sitting for 10 minutes to let her eyes adjust to the dark. “And the glow is not like a lantern. You really have to have it dark, wait and be patient to let the eyes adjust and have good night vision.” Next she took one inside and put one with the gills side up. So it was about 8:30pm the last time yesterday evening that I heard anymore from her. However Kathy was not done yet.

“I did some more observations through the night.”

“When I set it gills down, the top does NOT glow.  So out in the forest you would only get a glow around the edges.  I left it in the bathroom where there were no electronics giving off light.  At 2am it had a very nice glow still.  Not enough to use as a nightlight but never the less quite interesting to experience.  At 8am I closed the door and still had a good glow.  Now at 10am no more glow.  I read if you rehydrate it, it might glow again.  Tonight I will cover it with a wet paper towel and experiment with bringing back bioluminescence. This has really been exciting for me to finally experience the jack-o-lantern mushroom!”

Oh goodness I can’t wait to hear how it goes tonight! Thanks Kathy for sharing this!

Kathy was not able to get a photo of the bioluminescence but Texas Mushrooms site has some great photos.

Bioluminescent Fungi & A Light-Generating Metabolism

When people move out, wildlife moves in: 10 abandoned places reclaimed by nature Thanks Suzanne!

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. Wow those illuminesce very differently. Ours are a pale colorless glow. I wonder if they had some special lens or something to get that green and bright glow. I will report on here late tonight when my piece of gills has rehydrated. I have been to a couple of the parks they listed in College Station in that article. The one called Lick Creek has dense naturally occurring yaupon hollies. Like a jungle.

  2. The wet paper towel wrap worked but it is even dimmer tonight. You have to blink a lot to see the glow or look away and back to it. This is not the glow they show on that website. I wish it was. But these are so faint that if you stare at it, the glow disappears.

  3. Would have never guessed that fungi had any “luz” as the author calls it.and green to boot. Maybe they have magic mushrooms to get that special green hlow!

  4. I love how big and bright orange they are like pumpkins.
    We got a tiny glow again last night after wetting it. Was still a light glow at 6am.
    Wish it was pitch dark outside so I could bend down and look at the undersides of the ones still in the ground. Too much reflected light from towns and the moon now too.

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