20c – Bracket Fungi (Microporus xanthopus)
A member of the “pored” fungi, this fungus possesses millions of tiny pores on the underside of the cap instead of gills. The fungus grows on trees and fallen timber. Its fruiting bodies are leathery, hard and woody instead of fleshy, and are long-lasting.
30c – Cup Fungus (Cookeina tricholoma)
This brilliantly-coloured cup fungus with hair (trichomes) on the cup (apothecium) is reputed to be among the prettiest of all fungi. Its fruiting bodies are initially closed, but they expand with growth to become cup or disc-shaped. It is commonly found on fallen twigs or logs and may be completely sessile or supported by a short stalk.
50c – Veil Fungus (Dictyophora phalloidea)
This is a saprophytic fungus. The fruiting body springs out of the soil in the early morning and withers after a few hours. It gives off a nauseating stench to attract flies and other insects to help disperse its pores. The fungus has a characteristic veil or net-like expansion called indusium, hence its common name “veil fungus”.
RM1 – Coral Fungus (Ramaria sp.)
This is one of the numerous species of highly branched coral fungi growing on the forest floor or dead tree stumps. It is bush-shaped and orange coloured. Its flesh is white and darkens slowly when exposed to air.
Fungi are plants that have no roots, leaves flowers or chlorophyll. Their mode of life enables them to grow without sunlight. They cannot make their own food and so are saprophytes (obtaining their food from dead and decaying matter) or parasites (taking food from living plants and animals).
Fungi are much more than mere curiosities of the forest. In fact, of all the forms of life in the jungle, fungi are perhaps the most essential. As saprobes, fungi break down plant and animal matter, recycling nutrients and other important elements such as carbon and nitrogen back to nature. In this way, they directly or indirectly support all manner of life.