Rare Mushroom Hisses When it Opens Spotted in Texas Is it Toxic?
Forget the Yellow Rose of Texas, people are talking about one of the world's rarest mushroom species that hisses at you.
The mushroom's officially named Chorrioactis geaster, however, its nickname is the Devil's Cigar but Texans are calling it the Texas star mushroom. Thanks to a 2021 legislative bill that passed the Texas star mushroom is now the official mushroom of the state.
Recently, the fuzzy-star-shaped mushroom has been showing up at Inks Lake State Park, near Burnet, according to a Facebook post. The creepy-looking fungi have only been found in one other place and that's in Japan, how they got here and why is still a mystery. Researchers did note that the Chorrioactis Geaster has been around since the early 1990s mainly seen in North Texas.
The mushroom's survival comes from attaching itself to cedar elm tree stumps that are rotting or decaying. They are pretty easy to identify as they are a fuzzy-brown color of about 3-4 inches in diameter and length, when closed they resemble a cigar but when they open they release a bizarre hissing noise with a hazy cloud of spores that reveals the orange star shape. Typically, the mushroom fungus is seen around the fall season.
If you've been watching HBO's The Last Of Us, series, people are infected by a fungus called cordyceps that turns them into zombie-like creatures. However, no worries here as the fungus Texas Star Mushroom is neither dangerous nor poisonous to humans. Oh, just in case you were wondering, no it is not edible either.