Ghost Mushrooms in the Adelaide Hills | Mark Oliphant Conservation Park | May 2020

Photo credit: Michael Waterhouse Photography

Photo credit: Michael Waterhouse Photography

Ghost Mushrooms in the Adelaide Hills

You don’t have to go all the way to Mount Gambier to see these amazing bioluminescent fungi. 

Head to the Mark Oliphant Conservation Park trails in Heathfield in the Adelaide Hills to view the incredible Omphalotus Nidiformis, also known as ‘Ghost Mushrooms’. Photographer Michael Waterhouse found these next to the walking trail. 

Ghost mushrooms, or Omphalotus nidiformis, get their name because they have an eerie glow. The mushrooms’ cup-shaped fruiting bodies grow on pine stumps and other rotting wood, and can grow as big as 20 centimetres across.

In daylight, they’re a creamy white colour, sometimes with brown, black or purple shading, but at night they really come into their own, glowing green. Like glow worms, fireflies, and sea sparkle, ghost mushrooms produce light known as bioluminescence through an internal chemical reaction.

Photo credit: Michael Waterhouse Photography

Photo credit: Michael Waterhouse Photography

After wet weather, you may be lucky enough to find these amazing fungi, especially where there are pine trees.  Areas they have been found include the Adelaide Hills, especially in Para Wirra Conservation Park and Scott Creek Conservation Park, as well as Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island and even on Eyre Peninsula.

Just remember, ghost mushrooms are for looking at, not eating. Like many wild fungi, they are poisonous, and while they aren’t likely to kill you, the effects include vomiting and stomach cramps and are deeply unpleasant.

Mark Oliphant Conservation Park is located 22km south-east from Adelaide, via the South-Eastern Freeway.

All images courtesy of Michael Waterhouse Photography published with permission.

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For more information and all enquiries please visit the Environment SA website.

What:   Ghost Mushrooms in the Adelaide Hills 

When:    May 2020

Where:  Mark Oliphant Conservation Park | 178 Scott Creek Rd, Heathfield 

Who:   Everyone

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: Michael Waterhouse Photography – @michaelwaterhousephotography on Facebook 


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