We are at the beginning of the fungal fruiting season in FRIM. Usually every year, from the end of February to March and from August to September, fungal sporocarps or mushrooms fruit in FRIM’s grounds. It is July now, and rather early for the mushroom season but look down on the forest floor, and you will see various species of mushrooms starting to appear. They can be found along the trails and sides of the main roads. Sometimes we can find them under the leaf litter and growing on old stumps. The fleshy mushroom’s lifespan is very short, about 2-5 days, while those growing on wood can live much longer. Most fungi are inconspicuous because of their tiny size and dull colour but there are some with bright and brilliant colours too. There are more than 4000 species of fungi in Malaysia and 160 species have been recorded in FRIM. The humid forest conditions and habitats in FRIM are very suitable for fungi. While some of the fungi may be edible, there are many that are poisonous too. Therefore, do not to simply pick up any mushrooms for consumption unless you are absolutely sure of its identity or it has been identified by a mushroom expert.
Pictures contributed by Nor Azlin M.F and Patahayah Mansor.