Glow in the Dark ‘Shrooms and Exploding Cucumbers
Sometimes on holiday you come across little surprises – this time it was life, growing and fighting back. On a trip to a beautiful olive grove and market garden in Puglia I spotted these fungi growing in the base of an olive tree. I asked if they were edible and was told very firmly NO! I wish I’d had the where with all with me to do the identification, if I had I would have snuck back once it got dark to take another look. I’m pretty sure the little beauties are Omphalotus olearius aka Clitocybe olearia aka Jack O’lantern; apparently they glow in the dark from the gills when the spores are mature, all very hobgoblin.
The second treat was the exploding cucumber – equally inedible but if you are not wise in advance you can think you are being shot at by an air pistol the seeds fly at 60 mph!
Looking like an innocent unopened poppy flower the seed pods squirt seeds at you as they fall to the floor.
Watch the second half of this video to see just what goes on.
On return home it was clear that nature had been doing wonderful things in the UK too…