Cordyceps military - description of where the toxicity of the fungus grows

Cordyceps military looks very unusual mushroom. You can not see it often enough, as it belongs to a rare species. But having met, you can immediately recognize it by military bearing - it seems that he is ready for battle, wearing a bright orange uniform. Indeed, the real fighter hidden in the woods.

What is he - sporiferous cordyceps military

This forest dweller belongs to the family of ergot, a genus of Cordyceps. Its appearance is somewhat different from other fellow mushrooms.

Its fruit body is simple, but there are specimens with a branched form at the base. Can grow straight or curved. The form itself is different, it may be cylindrical or club-shaped, elliptical or spindle-shaped. It has a height of the fruit body from 1 to 8 cm, and the thickness is up to 0.5-0.7 cm. The top is dulled, compared to the stem, its thickness is less.

The color of this fungus is very noticeable, as it has all the shades of a bright orange color, but always before the peritheses it will differ with a lighter color. The leg may be smooth or furrowed, pubescent, it may be surrounded by the finest rhizomorphs. In the central part of the strom has no color, fibrous.

Periteses, when the fungus is rather young, half submerged. But with age, more and more protrude to the surface, as a result, only the base remains immersed. They are mostly crowded, ovoid, and cover the wartful part of the fungus with dots of their stomata.

Colorless ascospores have a filamentary form, their thickness is up to 1.5 microns, they have many partitions that break down into cells resembling highly elongated cylinders.

The pulp of the mushroom has a fibrous texture, the color is whitish, the smell and taste are not pronounced. The size of military cordyceps, the shape of the spores and the colors depend on the conditions of the area in which they live, as well as on the size of the insect on which they parasitize.

Where is the warrior mushroom hiding

Of all the species, Cordyceps is the most common military. His homeland can be considered many areas of Europe and Asia, America and Africa, warm zones and characterized by a more severe climate, for example, tundra. It prefers mostly forest areas and places with high moisture content. Due to the massive deforestation, its habitats were eventually disturbed.

But the mushroom finds an opportunity to continue its genus thanks to one amazing ability: it is sent for wintering as a mushroom, but it wakes up as an extremely dangerous predator. It is necessary to crawl up the caterpillar to it, as it immediately finds itself in a terrible trap, as the mushroom has adapted to deftly throw out the spores, which with precision pierce the chitin unhappy. But they themselves do not show up to the autumn. When the time comes for the caterpillar to change its appearance, becoming a butterfly, it searches for a place in the earth, having assumed the shape of a pupa. And here, in the soil, the mushroom feels in the alien body as the owner. Its active development begins, it uses for its own vital activity, first and foremost, an insect protein that can never fly. The dead body does not turn into a beautiful butterfly, but into a mummy, through which the mushroom stretches upwards.

Many people witnessed such a strange picture: from the head that once belonged to a caterpillar, an orange process with a thin leg is pulled out.

This fungus is dangerous for larvae and pupae of many representatives, which belong to lepidopterans, as well as for adults of Diptera. The time of fruiting the fungus falls on the beginning of June, and ends in October.

To help sick people

It has been proven by scientists that the nutritional value of this mushroom is completely nil. But his special valuable qualities were discovered, which immediately began to be used in oriental medicine.

Even more than 2,000 years ago, the medicinal properties of the fungus were intended only for the emperor himself and his closest circle. A special reward — a pearl — was relied upon to find a copy, but in the case if a simple subject concealed the find, the punishment was very cruel: the person was deprived of both hands.

Modern scientific advanced technology helped to understand what is the secret of a unique plant. It turned out that this is truly a pantry of many micro and macroelements necessary for maintaining human health, amino acids, enzymes, acids, vitamins.

True, official medicine does not want to regard the mushroom as a medicine, but numerous food additives and products made according to old recipes help many people.

For example, the enzymes present in the composition regulate metabolic processes, help other useful substances to be produced in the right quantities. And polysaccharides block the development of cancer cells.

Watch the video: Cordyceps: attack of the killer fungi - Planet Earth Attenborough BBC wildlife (December 2019).