Fungi in the Daintree: photographed in Cow Bay, this is the Bridal Veil Fungus (Phallus indusiatus); a tropical species which grows in many areas of the world. Also called Veiled Lady, and Stinkhorn, this species smells like rotting meat (even before emerging from the ground) and attracts flies and other insects, which then disperse the spores. A highly edible mushroom which features in Chinese haute cuisine, and commonly used in stir-frys and chicken soups. This species is also grown commercially and sold in Asian markets, and is rich in protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber. The mushroom also contains various medicinal bioactive compounds, and has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Phallus indusiatus has a recorded history of use in Chinese medicine extending back to the 7th century AD. We are still trying to get a photo with the full veil visible, but it is definitely a case of right place at the right time, as the veil collapses just hours after arriving into the world.
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