West Weald fungus recorder Vivien Hodge found this beautiful golden fungi which is saffron-coloured throughout. It is called the Jack O’Lantern Omphalotus illudens. Its vernacular name is partly due to the colour, which is reminiscent of a pumpkin, and partly because the gills on the underside of the mushroom emit an eery glow just like a Jack O’Lantern. Vivien has subsequently confirmed that it does glow quite brilliantly in the dark.
It was recorded in Horsham at the end of July and is only the second record of this species in Sussex so we thought we’d keep it as a Halloween treat for you.