Scary Fungi

| December 7, 2012 | 7 Replies

Scary Fungi! Did you know that Fungi are not plants? They are unique and separate life forms and have their own kingdom. After three solid days of rain, this group of fungi popped up in the back garden in a shady area of soil. They are not growing on rotten wood or tree roots. I looked through literally hundreds of mushroom photos on the internet, and didn’t see anything like this. Images are in order of how I imagine they progressed. They seem to actually bloom!

Brown Fungi by Kaye Kittrell

Pisolithus arhizus (aka P. tinctorius) – Image 1

First, a round, brown mushroom pops up, then the whole surface cracks open.

Brown Fungi 2 by Kaye Kittrell

Pisolithus arhizus (aka P. tinctorius) – Image 2

Looks like an alien from another planet! More mushrooms pop up alongside the first, and when the surface is cracked open enough a darker “bloom” pushes out, right.

Detail of Brown Fungi by Kaye Kittrell

Pisolithus arhizus (aka P. tinctorius) – Detail

This I am calling a “bloom.” The surface is now peeled back like petals, and in the center, a cup pushes out, and inside that is a layer of blue mold.

Brown Fungi Opened

Pisolithus arhizus (aka P. tinctorius) – Image 3

This one appears to be decomposing without a cup. The texture is very much like damp sand.

Brown Fungi with Mold

Pisolithus arhizus (aka P. tinctorius) – Image 4

I assume this one got covered in mold from all the moisture in the air, before the surface cracked open. Taken by itself, it looks more like a truffle, but when I see the others, I don’t think so. Help me identify this if you can. And what should I do with it (with any fungi for that matter)? Thanks for your help! – Kaye

Update: This fungi was identified in December, 2012, by Michael Wood at as Pisolithus arhizus (aka P. tinctorius) commonly referred to as Dog Turd Fungus.

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Category: Fungi

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  1. I have just heard from Michael Wood at and, that it is a Pisolithus arhizus (aka P. tinctorius). There are so many fungi in the fungi kingdom, it’s mind boggling!

  2. Aadi Ghoshal says:

    some people say fungi are weird ,to some they are beautiful and to some they are disgusting.But to me they are every photo i observed that they were taken from a precise could have become a photographer instead of a gardener

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