Flora of Macedonia – Mushrooms stamps

Flora of Macedonia – Mushrooms stamps

Macedonian Post issued a set of four stamps within the series "Flora of Macedonia" dedicated to mushrooms. The illustrated species are: Boletus satanas, Myriostoma coliforme, Caloscypha fulgens and Terana caerulea.

Boletus satanas, commonly known as the Devil's bolete or Satan's mushroom, is a basidiomycete fungus of the bolete family. Found on chalky soil in mixed woodlands in the southern, warmer regions of Europe and North America, it is generally regarded as a poisonous mushroom, with predominantly gastrointestinal symptoms of nausea and violent vomiting occurring if eaten raw or fried. However, reports of poisoning are rare due to its odd appearance and at times putrid smell minimising casual experimentation.

The squat, brightly coloured fruiting bodies are large and imposing, with a pale dull-colouredvelvety cap up to 30 cm wide, blood red pores and bulbous red-patterned stalk.

The flesh turns blue when cut or bruised. There is a smell of carrion, more noticeable with age. It is the largest bolete growing in Europe.

Myriostoma coliforme is an earthstar, so named because the spore-bearing sack's outer wall splits open into the shape of a star. The inedible fungus has a cosmopolitan distribution in Europe, where it grows in humus-rich forests or in woodlands, especially on well-drained and sandy soils. A somewhat rare fungus, it appears on the Red Lists of 12 European countries, and in 2004 it was one of 33 species proposed for protection under the Bern Convention by the European Council for Conservation of Fungi. Its fruit body, initially shaped like a puffball, is encased within an outer covering that splits open from the top to form rays. These rays curve down to expose an inner papery spore case, which contains the fertile spore-bearing tissue, the gleba. It is the largest of the earthstar fungi, and reaches diameters of up to 12 cm.

Caloscypha fulgens, commonly known as the spring orange peel fungus, the golden cup, or the dazzling cup. It is a cup fungus, typically up to 4 centimetersin diameter, with a bright to pale orange interior and orange; specimens that are old or bruised often have an olive-green discoloration, especially around the edges. It is usually found on the ground in forest litter near conifers. Fruiting occurs in early spring following snow melt. Edibility has not been recorded for this fungus.

Terana caerulea, commonly known as the cobalt crust fungus or velvet blue spread, is a saprobic crust fungus in the family Phanerochaetaceae. Usually found in warm, damp hardwood forests on the undersides of fallen logs and branches of deciduous trees, this unique fungus has been described as "blue velvet on a stick". This species was chosen as fungus of the year for 2009 by the German Mycological Society. The fruiting body is 2–6 mm thick. It is dark blue with a paler margin, with a velvety or waxy texture when moist, but crusty and brittle when dry. In nature, the fungus surface is typically found pointing downward, which helps facilitate spore dispersal.

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