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The Devil's Tooth (Hydnellum peckii)

The reason that this mushroom is known as The Devil's Tooth, or the Bloody Tooth, is the fact that the red ooze and sockets in it look similar to that of an extracted tooth. But why is this mushroom like this? Well, let's look at the science and find out!

Physical description and Behavior

These mushrooms start off as white but turn into a pinkish-brown color later on in their development. They can even look almost black in areas where they are bruised. One of the most striking characteristics of this fungi is the fact that it exudes a blood-red liquid when it is moist.

On the top of the mushroom are tiny hairs that make the mushroom feel similar to velvet or felt. The bottom also looks like it is covered in stalactites. These can also be covered in amber droplets that make it look stunning.

This mushroom forms a mutual relationship with the trees it relies on. It provides the tree with vitamins and minerals, asking for only carbon in return. However, despite not being toxic, this mushroom is in no way edible. The extreme bitterness of it deters anyone from using this fungus in their cooking.

Habitat and Location

These mushrooms can be found growing around conifer trees. They can be found in much of North America, as well as in much of Europe. Even being found in places such as Iraq and Korea. Sadly, there are no clearer and more precise distribution maps available, so we will just have to deal with this one for now.

One of the few uses of this mushroom is as a dye. The colors that can come from this mushroom can range from a more beige color, to even blues and greens. So at least this mushroom can be utilized as a far more natural clothing dye.

For more information on this fascinating fungus, consider watching this video below!

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1 Comment

Isa Iaiza
Isa Iaiza
Jul 23, 2020

My daughter saw one today in the forest in Tyrol (Austria).

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