- Tremiscus helvelloides – Guepinia helvelloides Fungus
This weekend as I was walking in a wooded patch of pine trees I came across fungus. I almost missed them at first! In an area that’s not very well lit due to the density of Pine trees, I almost walked by clumps of a fungus I had never seen before. Their gelatinous gummy bear texture and peach coloring was very peculiar. The ear shaped forms taken on by some of them made this fungus very interesting and intriguing. Upon examination I realized they grew in the top layer of pines and dried branches. They didn’t grow out of the soil itself.
Photographing these fungus proved to be a real challenge! I was ill equipped with just a basic camera body and lens. I had no tripod, external flash or reflectors. I still captured them at High ISO. My built in flash doesn’t clear my lens at close range so I did the best I could figuring they would be good enough for identification purposes.
Lucky for me this was also the weekend the Wild Mushroom exhibit and conferences were taking place at the Montreal Botanical Garden. Top experts from the Province of Quebec were present on site. The fungus was identified as “Trémelle” in French. This is where I was also informed of how rare my fungus find was. Apparently there’s only two known patches in the whole Province of Quebec. One of these patched being the one I found and photographed! They’re not rare everywhere they grow. Tremiscus helvelloides / Guepinia helvelloides are actually found all over North America and South America. They’ve even been reported as far as China. They’re just rarely seen in abundance in any of the areas where they grow.
Depending on reference guides this Fungus seems to be classified under “Tremiscus helvelloides” or “Guepinia helvelloides”. I’m no mushroom expert nor do I want to be. I was told this specific specimen is safe for consumption non toxic to humans. I personally take a pass on Wild Mushrooms unless I’m with a true expert. I much prefer the safer supermarket route.
Unfortunately by Monday evening these fungus had been trampled, most probably by a passer-by. It’s quite common to see mushrooms, fungus, trampled by people. It seems some people just can’t trek through nature without breaking something every few steps. I wonder if they would have even cared if they knew how special a specimen these were?