If we were to ask which is the largest animal in the world, most of you would certainly answer blue whales with a weight of 110 tons. However, the largest creature in the world is a mushroom species called Armillaria Ostoyae, which covers an area of more than 1600 football fields with a length of 6 kilometers. The mushroom species Armillaria Ostoyae, most of which is underground, is found in the Malheur National Forest in eastern Oregon. Known as honey fungus, this mushroom is described as a giant mushroom. Experts state that this fungus is at least 2400 years old.
The honey fungus, which scientists have discovered how widely it can spread in recent years, is now considered to be the world’s largest living organism. The honey fungus, spread over an area of 4 kilometers in diameter, is densely found in the Blue Mountains mountains in the Oregon region of the USA. These fungi colonize and kill trees and woody plants around them. They do not need compost in their cultivation. The yellowish-brownish lumps seen above ground are actually the fruit of much larger organisms. Underground, extensions in the form of black shoelaces form a wide network to find new plants on which to settle and feed.
Tree deaths in the region directed the attention of scientists to this part of the forest, and as a result of the research, it was determined that this fungus absorbed the water and nutrients in the plant due to its rhizomorphs. This event was already followed by the deaths of trees. The sad truth about this fungus is that it feeds on the roots of other plants to grow. Thousands of plants above that tried to survive independently of it were destroyed by fungus and continue to disappear.
Because of the mushroom that has been growing for 2400 years, the forest will turn into just a huge mushroom after a while. Due to the strong nature of the fungus, no treatment has been found for years that can destroy the forest without harming it. The largest specimen was ever seen of a honey fungus (Armillaria Ostoyae) growing on a cut tree stump. Covering an area of 2 thousand 200 hectares in the USA, this honey fungus covers an area of 15 football fields. The age of this mushroom is between 2000 and 8000 years. It is known that a very large part of the giant mushroom is found underground in the form of a huge pile of hair made of tentacle-like white mycelia.
It has been calculated that the giant mushroom, which can go three meters under the ground, has ‘grown’ for 2,400 years. The existence of the giant mushroom was discovered with the research started in 1998 on the mysterious death of the large trees in the forest. The giant mushroom prevented the trees from getting nutrients, causing a forest the size of 15 football fields to disappear. There are many types of mushrooms, known as Armillaria genus in Latin, which are known only by mushroom growers in the world but are included in the honey fungus class, for which the growers do not have any information about how to grow.
In 1998, a team from the US Forest Service set out to investigate why trees in Malheur National Park in eastern Oregon dry up. Samples taken from the dried trees showed that almost all of them were infested with honey fungus. It has been observed that fungi belonging to this class are genetically similar and can combine and form a single body. It was found that the fungi found in 61 of the 112 trees that had dried-out spread from the same organism and that these fungi were between 1900 and 8650 years old.
What Is Honey Fungus?
The largest living species discovered in the world, the honey fungus, whose Latin name is Armillaria mellea, has spread over an area of approximately 3.8 square kilometers in the Oregon Region of the United States. Located in the Malheur National Forest and spreading over an area of 2200 hectares, the Honey Mushroom has grown by embracing the entire land in the form of a mesh, covering both the underground and trees.
This fungus is considered as the largest living colony of honey fungi, which can go about 3 meters below the ground. The mushroom variety, which has been found to grow for 2400 years, was discovered in 1998 as a result of research into the unwarranted death of trees in the forest. Honey fungus, which settled on trees as parasites, prevented the trees from feeding and caused the destruction of a large part of the forest. They have very dense mass populations. It is a valuable mushroom that is eaten when cooked.
Armillaria mellea spreads easily with special mycelium formations in the form of long black threads called Rhizomorph, since it is in the form of a root-like shoelace. Rhizomorphs envelop decayed wood like an octopus, especially found widely between the bark and the wood or in the soil. This fungus is one of the most dangerous parasitic fungi in almost all types of coniferous trees. At the same time, it continues its life and damage as a saprophyte. There is no effective treatment method against fungal damage yet.
The hat is 3-15 cm in diameter, very variable, first convex, then flattened and the center is flattened, with wavy edges, dirty yellow, straw-colored or dark brown, mostly olive-red. There are scales similar to temporary fish scales on the hat. Stem 6-15 x 1-1.5 cm., Narrowing towards the bottom, or swollen bottom. First whitish, then reddish-brown, towards the upper part of the stem, this ring is initially white, then yellowish or pinkish brown, and usually dark stained spots appear on the ring as it ages. Its taste is slightly astringent and has a strong scent. It is seen from summer to early winter.
Benefits of honey fungus
- Containing high levels of vitamin D, the honey fungus is very important for the development of bone and dental health.
- Being a low-calorie food, mushroom strengthens the effect of slimming diets thanks to its high fiber content. It prevents constipation by accelerating bowel movements. The mushroom that leaves the stomach late allows the blood sugar to rise slowly and creates a feeling of satiety for a long time.
- Contains high levels of vitamin B12. Supporting healthy hair and skin development, honey fungus protects the body against the risk of heart disease. It prevents nerve cells from being damaged and prevents cell aging.
- Antioxidant properties due to the selenium in its content, honey fungus strengthens the body’s immune system and reduces the risk of getting sick. It prevents the formation of cancer cells due to the weakness in the immune system and prevents the cells formed from reproducing.
- Honey fungus containing the aminoacid ergothioneine containing sulfur plays an important role in the repair of worn-out cells.
- Thanks to its CLA, conjugated linoleic acid, it helps the body to lose fat tissue. Athletes who want to increase lean tissue are recommended to increase their consumption of mushrooms.
- It has benefits in the regulation of blood pressure. It lowers blood pressure in those with high blood pressure. It helps to lower cholesterol.
- Honey fungus, which is a type of fungus with high bioactive content, shows antiviral and antibacterial properties. It plays an important role in the prevention of diseases such as colds and flu that develop as a result of the common cold and are contagious.
Harms of honey fungus
- Consumption of honey fungi in people with sensitive bodies may cause discomforts such as nausea and vomiting.
- All mushrooms are at risk of becoming allergenic. Therefore, attention should be paid to mushroom consumption. In excessive consumption, stomach bloating, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea may be observed.
Honey fungus is considered to be an edible type of mushroom in many countries and its market price is also very high, as it is considered to be one of the most delicious among wild mushrooms. Since Raw Honey Mushroom contains a small amount of poison, the mushroom should be cooked for at least 15 minutes before consumption. Before cooking, the mushrooms should be cleaned and the hat parts should be separated from their stems. Only the hat part of the mushroom whose stems are not suitable for consumption are cooked. In many recipes, honey fungi are used with other ingredients and are not consumed alone.
Honey fungi are most commonly used in soups and creams because of the intense water it releases when cooked. Thanks to this intense water, honey fungi add flavor to the recipe to which it is added, as well as consistency. Honey fungus, which suits many greens such as parsley, mint, and basil, is usually used in sauces prepared with these greens. In these sauces that can be prepared with cream or yogurt, the taste of honey fungi can be enriched with garlic and various spices. The sauce prepared can be used in pasta and red meat dishes.
Detailed Information About Honey Fungus
Known as the largest creature known in the world, the honey fungus has spread over an area of approximately 4 square kilometers in the Oregon Region of the USA. Located in the Malheur National Forest and covering an area of 2200 hectares, the honey mushroom wraps the whole land in the form of a braid, embracing both the underground and the trees. It is considered the largest living colony of honey mushrooms, which can go about 3 meters below the ground. The mushroom variety, which has been found to grow for 2400 years, was discovered in 1998 as a result of research into the unwarranted death of trees in the forest. The honey mushroom, which settled on trees as a parasite, prevented the trees from feeding and caused the destruction of a large part of the forest.
Commercially important mushrooms are used in the production of antibiotics, soft drinks, cyclosporine, and steroids due to their biochemical activity. In addition, it is an important nutritional source due to its high protein and vitamin and mineral content. Mushrooms, which can be used as a garnish in addition to many dishes, with their unique aroma and flavor, are used in the fermentation process in the food industry, in the production of alcoholic beverages, and in bread making.
Taking its name from its unique yellow color, the honey mushroom is a type of fungus that parasitically survives on trees. Honey mushrooms with wavy edges are straw-colored, dirty yellow, or dark brown in color. As it ripens, the color of the honey mushroom changes to a red-purple color. The mushroom variety, which first had a convex shape, has a very variable structure. Its concave form turns into convex as the cork begins to grow and then flattens. There are structures similar to fish scales on honey mushrooms, which have a hat with a diameter of 3-15 centimeters. The stem length of the mushroom variety varies between 6-15 centimeters and the bottom may be swollen or narrow.
The stem of the mushroom has a whitish color, as the mushroom matures, this color turns reddish-brown. The ring with a ring on the stem will have dark-stained spots as it ages. Honey mushroom with pale cream-colored spores is an edible and very tasty mushroom variety. The roots of the honey mushroom are shaped like a shoelace like a root. Its roots, similar to black long threads called Rhizomorf, are spread quickly and easily with special micelle formations.
The honey mushroom that wraps around decayed trees or soil like an octopus is found especially between the bark and the wood part of the tree. The honey fungus that can grow as a parasite on all kinds of needles and broad-leaved trees has the ability to survive as a saprophyte. An effective treatment method has not yet been found against the harmful effects of honey mushroom, a living species that can destroy forests due to its harmful effects.
Where Does Honey Fungus Grow?
Honey fungus, whose Latin name is Armillaria, can easily grow in almost all forest areas, in any region with rotten wood. The fungus variety that emerges in summer can be collected until the beginning of winter. The honey fungus that grows in mass is a very harmful fungus for trees. The fungus, which cannot be classified as either a plant or an animal, is a special species that can reproduce by spores. It can grow in moist and dark areas. The naturally grown honey fungi are not specially cultivated. It can even grow on a felled tree stump. Genetically similar honey fungus varieties can come together to form large colonies.
Honey fungi, which are found in large numbers in the forest areas of the Blue Mountains in the Oregon Region of the USA, are responsible for the death of trees in this region. Due to its thickening effect, honey fungus, which has a unique intense aroma, is generally used in soups and sauces. Honey fungi in raw form contain little poison. Therefore, honey fungi should be boiled for at least 15 minutes before eating and pouring the boiling water. Honey fungus is a very tasty mushroom variety. The hats can be grilled by cleaning their stems. It can be put in the oven or grill by adding cheddar cheese and parsley.
Especially the hat parts of the honey fungus, which is a meaty mushroom type, can be used in omelet making. Mushroom omelet prepared with cheddar cheese and mushroom slices is an indispensable part of breakfast. It can be used in vegetable dishes and with meat dishes. Honey fungi can be roasted, fried, grilled, and cooked. Due to its thickening feature, it is used in making sauces with vegetables such as honey fungus, parsley, mint, basil, which are widely used in creams prepared with meat dishes. The honey fungus thrown into the pasta in salads provides a special flavor and consistency to the dishes.
For making honey fungus dessert, dough, eggs, oil, powdered sugar, water, and crushed walnuts are used. For dessert, the sherbet is first made and set aside to cool. Eggs are whisked in a bowl. The bottom of the cooker is burned, oil is added and heated. The dough is first covered with eggs and then thrown into the heated oil and fried on both sides. It is placed on a towel to take the fried dough oil. The melted fried dough is thrown into the cold syrup. After waiting for 10 minutes, it is placed on a serving plate and crushed walnuts are added and finally served with cream. Honey fungus benefits and harms include:
- Containing elevated levels of nutrient D, the honey fungus is significant for the advancement of bone and dental wellbeing.
- Being a low-calorie food, mushroom fortifies the impact of thinning eats less gratitude to its high fiber content. It forestalls stoppage by quickening solid discharges. The mushroom that leaves the stomach late permits the glucose to rise gradually and makes a sensation of satiety for quite a while.
- Contains significant levels of nutrient B12. Supporting solid hair and skin advancement, honey fungus ensures the body against the danger of coronary illness. It forestalls nerve cells from being harmed and forestalls cells maturing.
- Cell reinforcement properties because of the selenium in its substance, honey fungus fortifies the body’s resistant framework and lessens the danger of becoming ill. It forestalls the development of disease cells because of the shortcoming in the resistant framework and forestalls the cells shaped from recreating.
- Honey fungus containing the aminoacid ergothioneine containing sulfur assumes a significant function in the maintenance of destroyed cells.
- Because of its CLA, it encourages the body to lose fat tissue. Athletes who need to build lean tissue are prescribed to expand their utilization of mushrooms.
- It has benefits in the blood system. It brings down pulse in those with hypertension. It assists with bringing down cholesterol.
- Honey fungus, which is a sort of organism with a high bioactive substance, shows antiviral and antibacterial properties. It assumes a significant part in the avoidance of illnesses, for example, colds and influenza that create because of the regular cold and are infectious.
- Consumption of honey fungi in people with sensitive bodies can cause discomforts such as nausea and vomiting.
- All mushrooms are at risk of becoming allergenic. Therefore, attention should be paid to mushroom consumption. In excessive consumption, stomach bloating, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea may be observed.
Can Honey Fungus Be Eaten?
Considered to be one of the most delicious among wild mushrooms, the honey fungus is a type of mushroom that is commonly used in soups and creamy sauces and gives consistency to recipes with its intense flavor. The honey mushroom, known in botany as armillaria, is a parasitic fungus that lives in trees and woody shrubs. Honey mushrooms, which start to grow in the summer, can be seen in large masses on the trees until the early winter months. This fungus species, which survives as a parasite, is extremely harmful to trees and has the capacity to kill many tree species it lives on.
Honey mushroom is considered to be an edible type of mushroom in many countries and its market price is also very high, as it is considered to be one of the most delicious among wild mushrooms. Since raw honey mushrooms contain a small amount of poison, the mushroom should be cooked for at least 15 minutes before consumption. Before cooking, the mushrooms should be cleaned and the hat parts should be separated from their stems. Only the hat part of the mushroom whose stems are not suitable for consumption are cooked. In many recipes, honey mushrooms are used with other ingredients and are not consumed alone.
Honey mushrooms are most commonly used in soups and creams because of the intense water it releases when cooked. Thanks to this intense water, honey mushrooms add flavor to the recipe to which it is added, as well as consistency. Honey mushroom, which suits many greens such as parsley, mint, and basil, is usually used in sauces prepared with these greens. In these sauces that can be prepared with cream or yogurt, the taste of honey mushrooms can be enriched with garlic and various spices. The sauce prepared can be used in pasta and red meat dishes.
It has been observed that some types of honey mushrooms can cause some stomach discomfort when consumed with alcohol. Therefore, people who do not have detailed information about honey mushroom species should not consume alcoholic beverages 12 hours before and 24 hours after eating honey mushrooms in order to prevent possible nausea and vomiting. In addition, the mildly bitter taste of honey mushrooms can cause discomfort in sensitive stomachs. To prevent possible stomach discomfort, it is recommended to boil honey mushrooms in boiling water until they soften slightly before cooking. This process will help remove the bitter taste of the mushroom.
A Scientific Look to Honey Fungus
Honey fungus is a plant recorded as the largest known creature in the world. Spreading over a very large area of 4 square kilometers in the Oregon region of the USA, the mushroom is not actually a single body, but its structure has made it the largest in the world. But not all varieties of honey mushrooms grow that much. There are many types of mushrooms belonging to this mushroom family, known as Armillaria Genus in Latin. The most important feature of honey mushrooms is that it constantly colonizes and spreads to the regions where they are found. They spread and kill other plants and trees in their regions and dominate the region alone.
The fruits of these very large organisms, which are found in yellowish and brownish lumps on the earth, have to form a wide network in order to find new plants where they can settle on the appendages that resemble honey mushrooms and under the ground like black shoes. Honey mushrooms, just discovered by scientists, are known as the killer of many trees and creatures. Biologists researching honey mushrooms have long been researching the definition of living organisms. They have proven that the largest living organism on earth can work for the same purpose as an incredible organization with its own species, but still continues to investigate the fungus.
There are many types of mushrooms included in the honey mushroom class known as Armillaria genus in Latin. The honey mushroom, which scientists have discovered how widely it can spread in recent years, is now considered to be the world’s largest living organism. The honey mushroom, spread over an area of 4 kilometers in diameter, is densely found in the Blue Mountains mountains in the Oregon region of the USA. These fungi colonize and kill trees and woody plants around them. They do not need compost in their cultivation.
The yellowish-brownish lumps seen above ground are actually the fruit of much larger organisms. Underground, extensions in the form of black shoelaces form a wide network to find new plants on which to settle and feed. In 1998, a team from the US Forest Service set out to investigate why trees in Malheur National Park in eastern Oregon dry up. Samples taken from the dried trees showed that almost all of them were infested with honey fungus. It has been observed that fungi belonging to this class are genetically similar and can combine and form a single body. It was found that the fungi found in 61 of the 112 trees that had dried out caused by the same organism and that these fungi were between 1900 and 8650 years old.
Imagine you are walking in a forest in Oregon, USA. Here we will search for the biggest living creature here. While wandering among giant trees, you lift your head up to see if one of these trees could be the creature you are looking for and filter their large size. But you made the first mistake looking up; for he is right under your feet. Are you surprised? Actually, the whole forest is built on it.
Honey mushrooms (Armillaria Ostoyae), a small type of cap mushroom clustered at the base of trees in the forest, are scattered all over the place. However, the mushrooms you see in these separate places are actually not separate at all. All of these mushroom clumps spread throughout the forest are aboveground parts of a single fungus that merges underground. The filamentous nets (hyphae) of the fungus lying under the ground are spread over an area of 965 hectares. This area corresponds to the size of approximately 1800 football fields.
It has been calculated that this mushroom has grown for about 1900 years, based on its growth rate and its size reaching hundreds of tons. A forest has also been established on the mushroom that has been underground for 1900 years. What makes the mushroom noticed is the forest above it. Researchers studying mass tree deaths in this forest in Oregon realized that some type of fungus leaves the trees without food. Later, when genetic tests were applied to mushrooms taken from different places, the surprising truth emerged. In fact, it is just one gigantic mushroom that deprives all these trees of nutrients.
Honey fungus is found in the western parts of the USA, especially where the soil is acidic. However, it is known that it is a species living in England, Ireland, and Europe, as well as some parts of Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and North America. Honey Mushroom is considered one of the most delicious types of mushrooms found among wild mushrooms. It is also widely used in soups and creamy sauces. In addition, some tests are carried out in the laboratory for the use of Honey Mushroom in medicines and are applied in treatments for root diseases of trees.
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