Was growing in soft soil in Cedar forest (Cupressus macrocarpa) with only about 10% exposed. Camera battery died before I could get a good photo so I dug it up and photographed it at home. A very unusual and distinctive fungus, presumably designed to be eaten by something, as the spores are within the fleshy body which does not split open. No apparent scent.
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The only trees of any size are the macrocarpas….. there is sparse shrubby undergrowth but I did not notice any podocarps and if any were present, they would be only a meter or so in height and hence immature. I only ever found P. pila in an area about 100 or so square meters and nowhere else. Perhaps podocarps existed here before the exotics were planted?
And it’s interesting that you found it in that habitat, were there any native Podocarps like Prumnopitys ferruginea (Miro) or Podocarpus totara (Totara) in the area, it is thought that this mushroom adopts a similar form to that of the fallen ripe fruits of these trees to attract birds to aid in spore dispersal, I think it is particularly similar to the fruits of Prumnopitys ferruginea in size, colour and shape!
NZ seems to be full of interesting, secotioid, hypogeous finds.
Created: 2009-05-08 22:05:19 EDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2011-04-28 13:10:16 EDT (-0400)
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