Glowing poisonous orange Missouri mushrooms are plentiful during ‘spooky season’

Missouri
Image source: The Missouri Department of Conservation

Image source: The Missouri Department of Conservation

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Missouri has fungi that are perfect for spooky season but they can make you sick. The state’s conservation department is warning people about the Jack-o’-Lantern mushrooms that are now forming near the bottoms of trees.

The fungus looks a lot like the edible chanterelle mushroom. But, the orange and yellow Omphalotus illudens are poisonous. They are found in summer and fall growing on wood. They have caused many poisonings because they are abundant and attractive.

“Eating the Jack-O’-Lantern will make you very sick for a few days. You won’t die, but you might wish you had,” states the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The brightly colored mushrooms have something else in common with pumpkins carved into Halloween lanterns. They are bioluminescent. The Missouri Department of Conservation sats that they may, “give off a faint greenish glow at night or in a darkened room.”

The mushroom is common throughout the state of Missouri. It has been explored for possible anticancer chemicals.

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