While hiking in Hinckley Reservation, it was hard not to notice this large-capped mushroom that in some cases seemed to be turning itself inside-out.
Not only is it interesting looking, this organism has a waxy, benzaldehyde odor, kind of like a maraschino cherry.
These, like many fungi, are mycorrhizal, meaning they have are a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship with plants. The mushroom has fibers that surround a tree rootlets.
The mushroom fiber’s helps the tree absorb water and nutrients while the tree provides sugars and amino acids to the mushroom. It is estimated that about 85% of plants depend on mycorrhizal relationships with fungi.
Brown Russula’s 4-inch cap becomes broadly convex or flat, and sometimes even gets a shallow central depression (in this case holding water).
This was a fun fungi find on a summertime walk through the woods.