- Golden Trumpets
- Clustered on a stump
- True nature revealed
Xeromphalina campanella, also known as Golden Trumpets, bell Omphalina, or fuzzy foot, is a small fragile mushroom that is found growing on decaying coniferous stumps and logs. One of seven species and Xeromphalina, the Golden Trumpet is the most abundant and widespread in North America. It is said that several hundreds of these mushrooms can end up growing on one rotting hemlock stump.
Xeromphalina campanella is a Saprobic mushroom. This means that is survives by decomposing dead or decaying organic material and using it as food. Basically, Saprobic mushrooms help break down trees and other material and return it to the earth. This is different that the parasitic mushrooms, which attack living wood, or the mycorrhizal mushroom that have a symbiotic relationships with plants and trees.
The role of mushrooms in our ecosystem is truly amazing. The can decompose material, they can support the growth and health of other plants, and they can be food. They truly do it all.
Mushrooms can grow in a variety of climates and can range in size and shape. The smallest mushroom is probably a cup fungus with a cap of about 4 mm. MushroomExpert.com says this special distinction goes to either Hymenoscyphus fructigenus or Bisporella citrina. Both of these mushrooms are tiny and hard to see with the naked eye.
On the other hand, a honey mushroom in the Pacific Northwest has been identified as the largest living organism on earth. At around 2.385 acres, this mushroom covers the equivalent of 1,350 soccer fields (Guinness Book of World Records)
There is an estimated 11,000 different species of mushrooms in North American. If we take a step back in the Fungi Kingdom, there is an estimated 148,000 different species of fungus which include mushrooms, molds, and yeasts. This number is really just a guess because as we continue to apply molecular level approaches to identifying species, the genetic diversity increases. For me, mushrooms and the Fungi Kingdom truly represents the wonder and mystery that is present all around us.