June 21, 2021
Good morning friends,
I hope everyone had a pleasant summer solstice yesterday. This week’s mushroom is Marasmius rotula, commonly known as the collared parachute. This mushroom was found on 6/14/2021 in the Ramble. While tiny (with cap sizes ranging from 5-20 millimeter), there are a lot of neat aspects to this mushroom.
M. rotula grows spring through fall east of the Rockies and in Europe. It has also been found quite rarely in Asia and Africa. It is saprobic on dead wood, and that’s one identifying feature that separates it from other species of Marasmius that grow on leaves, reeds, or bark of living trees. A unique characteristic of this mushroom is that it doesn’t seem to follow a circadian rhythm – growing during a certain time of the year – but instead is more opportunistic and appears shortly after rain. It did indeed rain the morning I found this mushroom. Dried M. rotula can rehydrate after rain – or even high humidity – and continue to drop spores for at least three weeks after initially appearing. While this mushroom doesn’t possess any known medicinal qualities, M. rotula is attracting research because it contains a peroxidase enzyme that is useful as a catalyst in the synthesis of organic chemicals. Scientists think this enzyme also has potential use as a biosensor in environmental analysis and even drug testing.
Happy start of summer,
PS. I included another picture of last week’s Xylaria liquidambaris because this past week it looked like a scene from a zombie movie.
1) Kuo, M. (2012, December). Marasmius rotula. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/marasmius_rotula.html