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False Shaggy Mane

Podaxis pistillaris

Podaxis pistillaris
• False Shaggy Mane
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• Common name
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False Shaggy Mane • Podaxis pistillaris
False Shaggy Mane (Podaxis pistillaris)

Often thought of as a 'stalked puffball', this fungus, known as the False Shaggy Mane is not closely related to the 'puffballs'.1

With it distinctive appearance, the fungus is commonly found in deserts and arid regions of Australia.2

It can be found growing up to 15 cm high, made up of a woody stem (about 2-5 cm) and large, long shaped cap, that protects the blackish tissue, bearing the spores.

The cap varies in colour from white to yellow-brown or tan colour. The outer skin typically breaks into a ‘shaggy’ fibrils.

The fungus was used by many desert Aborigines for decorative purposes, with the spores brushed onto the body. It was used by many desert tribes to darken the white hair in the old men's whiskers1. As well, children would use it in play, from body painting, to sometimes drawing patterns or pictures on hard ground, or to imitate ritual leg slashing carried out by adults during mortuary ceremonies3.

The northern Warlpiri tribe are reputed to use the spores from the fungus as a fly repellent.3

Common name Where Found
Puffball
Stalked Puffball
False Shaggy Mane
 
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Order: Podaxales
Family: Podaxaceae
Genus: Podaxis
Species: Podaxis pistillaris
False Shaggy Mane • Images
False Shaggy Mane (Podaxis pistillaris), Central Australia
- following images taken in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Stalked Puffball (Podaxis pistillaris) © Colin Leel, May 2007

Stalked Puffball (Podaxis pistillaris) © Colin Leel, May 2007

Stalked Puffball (Podaxis pistillaris) © Colin Leel, May 2007

Stalked Puffball (Podaxis pistillaris) © Colin Leel, May 2007

Stalked Puffball (Podaxis pistillaris) © Colin Leel, May 2007

Stalked Puffball (Podaxis pistillaris) © Colin Leel, May 2007

Stalked Puffball (Podaxis pistillaris) © Colin Leel, May 2007

Stalked Puffball (Podaxis pistillaris) © Colin Leel, May 2007

False Shaggy Mane • Other links

 

Source:
1. ANBG / Australian Fungi Website, Aboriginal use of fungi, Retrieved January 14, 2008

2. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Podaxis pistillaris / The Fungimap Target Species, Retrieved January 14, 2008

3. Peter Latz, Bushfires and Bushtucker Aboriginal Plant Use in Central Australia, IAD Press, Alice Springs, 2004, p248

3. The Taxoniomicon, Taxon: Genus Podaxis, Retrieved January 14, 2008

4. RBG Melbourne, Fungi / Fungimap / The Fungimap Target Species, Retrieved January 14, 2008

5. Medicinal Mushrooms, Podaxis pistillaris, Retrieved January 14, 2008
 
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