Lobster mushroom photographed by Linda Bostwick

Lobster mushrooms, Hypomyces lactifluorum, are some of the strangest looking mushrooms I've seen. Well, they aren't exactly mushrooms but are a fungus that has taken over a host mushroom, usually a Milk Cap or a Russula. The technical term for what Lobster mushrooms are is parasitic ascomycete. This fungus envelopes the host mushroom, twisting it into strange shapes and turning it orange, hence the Lobster name.

Many people believe these are among the most delicious of the edible mushrooms. Linda Bostwick found this one growing in Point Arena. The host mushroom is some type of Russula.

Thanks to Linda for allowing me to share her photo with you here!

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