Bizarre backyard find dripping 'blood' stumps Aussies

An expert has weighed in on what he thinks the the strange looking fungus could be.

Left: A fungus growing in a woman's backyard. Right: A close-up of the fungus.
A strange-looking fungus erupted in an Aussie's backyard.

A strange-looking fungus that resembles “a piece of nougat with candied fruit” was found in a suburban backyard and has left one Aussie completely perplexed.

NSW woman Brittany made the discovery in her backyard on Thursday and described it as both “oddly enticing and treacherous”. “Very bizarre to find suddenly growing in the backyard!” Brittany told Yahoo News Australia. “I was hoping my dog wouldn’t show any interest.”

Unsure what it was, she shared an image to social media but those who weighed in couldn’t agree – with some likening it to ice cream and others to bread.

After inspecting her garden further, Brittany found more growths in her lawn. “We noticed all these little baby ones,” she said. “I guess the red blood bits will erupt out of them later.”

Another polypore spotted in the woman's backyard.
Soon after the first find, Brittany spotted more growths in her backyard.

Tom May, Principal Mycologist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria told Yahoo News Australia that the fungus is “most likely a kind of polypore”.

“These are bracket fungi that have pores on the underside," he said. "A number of different kinds of bracket fungi produce coloured droplets either on the upper or lower surface.”

The technical term for the "blood" droplets is known as a guttation, he explains.

“Fungi such as mushrooms, coral fungi, stinkhorns and bracket fungi usually produce their sporing bodies after rain and so the wet conditions across much of eastern Australia have provided perfect conditions for the appearance of fungi," he added.

“There is usually a mushroom season, but it varies a lot from one year to the next as to how prolific fungi are. In southern Australia, mushrooms appear in autumn to winter, in northern Australia the peak time is late summer.

The bizarre find comes as the Food Safety Information Council has warned Aussies who want to partake in wild mushroom foraging to be "extremely careful" if they want to avoid "deadly" consequences.

Social media influencers who forage for wild food have encouraged a spike in recreational mushroom gathering across Australia, but Food Safety Information Council chair Cathy Moir emphasised the "life-threatening" risks involved.

"We are particularly concerned about this growing online promotion of mushroom foraging with some wild mushroom social media groups having over 40,000 members seeking to have their photos of mushrooms identified by fellow foragers," she said.

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