Michigan Backyard Discoveries: Ever See This Fun-Looking Fungi?
It's always cool to see what Mother Nature stirs up when the seasons change. The weather adjusts, wildlife starts acting differently, and while certain flora dies off, others sprout up.
Often those seasonal growths include various types of fungi!
Michigan's Mushroom Magic (No, Not That Kind)
In Michigan, we tend to specifically keep an eye out for morel mushrooms, but there are so many others we either see often or are amazed when we stumble upon them.
In fact, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) there are over 2,000 types of wild mushrooms to be found here in the Mitten!
Of course, while morels get more of the "shine", Michigan actually provides pretty ideal conditions for all wild mushrooms as they need "specific conditions of temperature and moisture to grow," per the Michigan DNR.
Of course, the way those things can vary can ultimately affect how and what mushrooms thrive and what ones don't.
Here's a look at ones commonly found in Michigan in the fall:
So, What Are These?
The other day, a friend of mine shared these strange-looking fungi in her yard:
Now at the risk of sounding corny, these really look like they put the "fun" in fungi!
While there was some speculation in the comments about what they are, we think we have it pegged as fungi with a name as funny as it looks, being simply known as "Spiny Puffball." Scientifically, they are called "Lycoperdon echinatum."
Oddly enough, according to First Nature, this mushroom's "genus name" of Lycoperdon literally translates to "wolf's flatulence."
Yes, somehow these have to do with wolf farts...
Can You Eat Them?
There are many edible species of mushrooms here in Michigan, like morels, but there are others that can cause serious health issues for the people or animals who unknowingly ingest them.
According to First Nature, "Although many puffball species are considered good edible fungi the Spiny Puffball is not one of them..."
While there are certain types of this species of mushroom, it is probably best to just enjoy looking at them and not eating them.
If you have any more information on these specific, spiny little cuties, please let us know!
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