The rare hissing mushroom known as the “Devil’s Cigar” was captured on a trail in Inks Lake State Park on Sunday, Texas Parks and Wildlife said in a Facebook post.
The unique, star-shaped fungus chorioactis geaster, which also goes by the nickname “Texas star,” was officially designated the official state mushroom of Texas back on July 22, 2021.
Texas is the only state other than Minnesota and Oregon to have officially declared a state mushroom, according to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
“As this fungus matures, it splits open from its apex and forms a good-sized, brightly colored star, and naturally, we have always thought it made sense for it to become the state fungus of the Lone Star State,” Fort Worth Botanic Garden resident research associate Harold W. Keller said.
The mushroom was first reported in Austin in 1893, according to River Legacy Park officials.
The Arlington, Texas, park is one of the few known habitats where the fungus can be found.
The mushroom owes its “Devil’s Cigar” nickname to its dark brown color and 3-4 inch fuzzy capsule.
“It is said that when the devil’s cigar unfurls, it releases a strange hissing noise and hazy cloud of spores,” parks officials said.
According to parks officials, the mushroom is one of the rarest in the world and is spotted exclusively in central and northern parts of Texas where it is mostly found attached to decaying cedar elm stumps. The mushroom has also been spotted in Oklahoma as well.
Curiously though, the only other country where the mushroom has been found is Japan, parks officials said.
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