Bleeding Tooth Fungus Facts
- Just its distinctive name serves as enough to make the remarkable Bleeding Tooth Fungus stand out in the minds of most people. Not surprisingly, it also remains inedible. However, the astonishing fungus actually isn’t actually toxic.
- Furthermore, its lack of edibility only stems from its extremely bitter taste. But no doubt its appearance plays a role in that, as well, for most of us. Further, in fact, that acridity even persists after the mushroom has been dried.
- In addition, the mycologist Howard James Banker first identified it in 1913. Later experts debated its classification for many years. In addition to its sheer appearance, it remains notable for a somewhat different physical structure.
- Finally, despite its generally repugnant appearance, the Bleeding Tooth Fungus does have its usefulness. It, and also related species, has value to those who extract dyes from mushrooms. In its case, these usually consist of blue, green, and beige.
Bleeding Tooth Fungus Physical Description
Most notably, only the emotional shock, and for some, revulsion, at the appearance of the Bleeding Tooth Fungus qualifies as large. The remarkable mushroom itself actually ranks as an approximately average-sized specimen of its kind.
Firstly, the body of the incredible fungus typically reaches heights measuring about 4.1 in (10.5 cm). Secondly, at the top, a quite irregular shaped cap forms. This may be as much as 8 in (20 cm) across, but usually stays somewhat smaller.
Thirdly, in addition, this cap generally begins as a comparatively dark, off-white color. However, as this part of the fungus ages, this changes. It then becomes light brown, with darker blotches. But inside, the flesh itself appears as a light brownish-pink.
Finally, though, one of its most extraordinary features is the viscous liquid young specimens exude when moist. This has a dark red pigment, producing the appearance of actually bleeding. This, therefore, serves as the source of the common name of Bleeding Tooth Fungus.
- Kingdom: Fungi
- Phylum: Ascomycota
- Class: Agaricomycetes
- Order: Thelephorales
- Family: Bankeraceae
- Genus: Hydnellum
- Species: H. peckii
Bleeding Tooth Fungus Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Remarkably, the awesome Bleeding Tooth Fungus evolved as native to an extremely wide distribution. It appears to be most prevalent throughout the United States, in North America, however. There, its largest concentration grows in the Pacific Northwest.
Yet, this remarkable species also appears across a wide swathe of Europe, though in scattered concentrations. But sadly, its numbers in this part of the globe seem to be dwindling in the central sections. Some believe increased pollution to be the culprit.
Wherever it grows, however, the Bleeding Tooth Fungus typically prefers a specific habitat. It develops on the ground, almost exclusively under various types of conifers. This occurs due to the fact that it evolved a close relationship with such trees.
Further, it also seems to have a distinct preference for either mountainous or sub-alpine habitats. Therein, it thrives best among mosses and accumulated piles of pine needles. It also typically develops under the shade of the canopy.