Where to see ghost mushrooms in South Australia

Where to see ghost mushrooms in South Australia

SA is home to hun­dreds of species of fun­gi, but did you know some of them glow in the dark? Here’s where to look.

Ghost mush­rooms, or Omphalo­tus nid­i­formis, get their name because they have an eerie glow. The mush­rooms’ cup-shaped fruit­ing bod­ies grow on pine stumps and oth­er rot­ting wood, and can grow as big as 20 cen­time­tres across.

In day­light, they’re a creamy white colour, some­times with brown, black or pur­ple shad­ing, but at night they real­ly come into their own, glow­ing green.

Where to see ghost mushrooms in South Australia

Like glow worms, fire flies, and sea sparkle, ghost mush­rooms pro­duce light known as bio­lu­mi­nes­cence through an inter­nal chem­i­cal reaction.

Where to find them

The best place to find ghost mush­rooms in South Aus­tralia is in Glen­coe For­est near Mount Gam­bier. Forestry SA opens Ghost Mush­room Lane to vis­i­tors dur­ing May and June every year, and you’ll need to pur­chase an access pass to visit.

Take a trip down Ghost Mush­room Lane — open May and June annually 

After wet weath­er, you may be lucky enough to find these amaz­ing fun­gi in oth­er parts of SA as well, espe­cial­ly where there are pine trees.

They have been seen in the Ade­laide Hills, espe­cial­ly in Para Wirra Con­ser­va­tion Park and Scott Creek Con­ser­va­tion Park, as well as Flinders Chase Nation­al Park on Kan­ga­roo Island, Padth­away Con­ser­va­tion Park in the South East and even on Eyre Penin­su­la, so keep an eye out next time you’re on a walk.

Just remem­ber, ghost mush­rooms are for look­ing at, not eat­ing. Like many wild fun­gi, they are poi­so­nous, and while they aren’t like­ly to kill you, the effects include vom­it­ing and stom­ach cramps and are deeply unpleasant.

Want to learn more about fun­gi? Try this post onfive typesyou might see in the Ade­laide Hills, and learn more about why it’s a good idea to get your mush­rooms from the mar­ketinstead of the field.

(Main image cour­tesy of Ock­ert le Roux)

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in May 2018.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living