On a very, very taxing day Professor Pochron decided to drag my exhausted and non-athletically equipt body to the other side of campus for a long… long… looooonnnngggg nature walk.
As a moody teenager and college student it is my duty-
No, my obligation to complain about any physical activity that I didn’t think of doing myself. But as a student, I was deeply amazed by all the plants, fungi, and animals I saw on this walk.
Well I saw one female deer and a lot of bugs, but the idea still stands.
What caught my eye, was a bright purple mushroom. I wanted to take it home so bad, but I’ve watched one too many episodes of 1000 Ways to Die and I wasn’t trying to live my life with a decapitated arm. Thanks, but I’d rather not.
I used my handy dandy iNaturalist app to discover that the potential arm snatcher was an Amethyst Deceiver, scientifically known as the Laccaria Amethystina Cooke. The name suits the fungus perfectly because it’s beautiful bright purple could be mistaken for amethyst quite easily.
After doing some research on the Web of Science, I learned that the Laccaria amethystina Cooke has genetic connections to Asia. This little fungus and its fungal family made it from the center of Asia all the way to North America and parts of Eurasia. If that’s not determination, I don’t know what is.
The most interesting thing I noticed about the Laccaria amethystina was its absence on the IUCN red list. This beautiful fungus has not been evaluated for population concern. Why!? Is it because its purple?
I only noticed about four of these Laccaria amethystina Cooke. I may be wrong, there may be more but we will never know unless we start looking.