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Observation 147638: Agaricales sensu lato

When: 2010-01-06

Collection location: Southernwood, East London, South Africa [Click for map]

Who: Danny Newman (myxomop)

No specimen available


Giant wild mushroom

An East London man is preparing for a fungal feast after he found a giant mushroom in Southernwood on Wednesday.

Aubrey Els , 63, who owns a garden service company, said he had been alerted to the monster specimen by one of his workers as they were about to leave the house where they had been working.

“He shouted nal’ikhowa (here’s a mushroom) and I had to stop … when I saw it I was amazed at this freak mushroom … I’ve never seen anything like this,” Els said.

Els, who grew up on a farm in Kwelera, said he had seen big mushrooms before but not this size. He estimated its weight to be 6kg.

He said he was going to eat it with friends and family.

“I’m going to have a braai at my house and put it on that braai with garlic butter … that’s delicious.”

Els said he would be enjoying the braai with his wife, Lorraine, and children.

Although big, the mushroom pales in comparison to a specimen found in Malheur National Forest in Oregon, US, almost a decade ago.

In 2000 the giant fungus was 880 hectares in size and was killing off trees in the ancient forest.

Scientists at the time said it was the largest known and measured living organism in the world, bigger than any recorded animal or plant. It was estimated to be at least 2000 years old.

Species Lists


Copyright © 2010 Alan Eason
FUNGUS FEAST: Vincent resident Aubrey Els holds up his unusual find – a giant wild mushroom weighing about six kilograms. Els, who is also holding up a regular-sized mushroom, said he had never seen such a large specimen before . He is confident his weird garden find is edible. Two weeks ago when h...

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