Ileodictyon cibarium is a saprotrophic species of fungus in the family Phallaceae. It is native to Australia and New Zealand, where it is commonly known as the basket fungus or the white basket fungus, alluding to its fruit bodies, shaped like a round or oval ball with interlaced or latticed branches, resembling polyhedra similar to closed fullerenes.[1] Although the immature spherical fruitbodies are reportedly edible, the mature fruit body is foul-smelling and partly covered with a slime layer containing spores (gleba) on the inner surfaces.

Basket fungus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Phallales
Family: Phallaceae
Genus: Ileodictyon
I. cibarium
Binomial name
Ileodictyon cibarium
Tul. & C. Tul. (1844)
Ileodictyon cibarium
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Glebal hymenium
No distinct cap
Hymenium attachment is irregular or not applicable
Lacks a stipe
Spore print is olive-brown
Ecology is saprotrophic
Edibility is not recommended

Taxonomy and etymology Edit

Ileodictyon cibarium was originally described by Edmond Tulasne and Charles Tulasne in a paper by Étienne Raoul in 1844.[2] The type specimen was collected in New Zealand.[2][3][4]

The Māori people had 35 different names referring to I. cibarium. These included tutae kehua ("ghost droppings"), tūtae whatitiri, and whareatua ("house of the devil"), kōkirikiriwhetū, kōpurawhetū, korokorowhetū, wheterau, popowhaitiri, tikowhatitiri, paruwhatitiri, matakupenga, and tūtae whetū. Several of the names refer to Whaitiri, the atua and personification of thunder, this is because of the frequent appearance of I. cibarium fruit bodies following thunderstorms.[5][6]

In a 2018 poll, I. cibarium was ranked second by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research for its pick as New Zealand's national fungus, being defeated by Entoloma hochstetteri.[7]

Description Edit

Cross section of the unopened fruiting body of the basket fungus (Ileodictyon cibarium), with a ballpoint pen for scale

Prior to the opening of the outer skin, the fruit body is egg-shaped and white to greyish. After opening, it is a whitish mesh-like ball measuring up to 25 cm in diameter.[8] The different growth stages of L. cibarium were illustrated by John Buchanan.[9][10]

Ileodictyon cibarium is similar to and sometimes confused with Ileodictyon gracile (smooth cage fungus), which is also native to Australia. The two species are both whitish, mesh balls of similar size, but can be differentiated by characteristics of the receptacle arms that form the mesh.[11] I. cibarium has a thicker mesh[12] with arms that are wrinkled, about 5 times wider, elliptical in cross section, and not thickened where the arms meet, compared to I. gracile.[13][11]

Distribution and Habitat Edit

Ileodictyon cibarium is native to New Zealand and Australia and has also been found in Chile and Brazil as well as in Africa, probably as a result of it being introduced.[11][14] It is also known from several sites in England, where it is certainly introduced.[15] It grows alone or clustered together near woody debris, in lawns, gardens, and cultivated soil, along roads, in forest.[8]

Edibility Edit

The immature fruitbodies are edible.[16][unreliable source?]

References Edit

  1. ^ Gooday, Graham W.; Zerning, John (1997). "Ileodictyon cibarium, The basket fungus as a buckyball". Mycologist. 11 (4): 184–186. doi:10.1016/S0269-915X(97)80105-X. ISSN 0269-915X.
  2. ^ a b Raoul, Étienne (1844). "Choix de Plantes de la Nouvelle-Zelande". Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot. 3e (Sér. 2): 114.
  3. ^ "Ileodictyon cibarium Tul. & C. Tul. 1844 - Biota of NZ". Retrieved 2022-08-16.
  4. ^ May, Tom W. (2003-09-01). "The status of names and records of Australian macrofungi". New Zealand Journal of Botany. 41 (3): 379–389. doi:10.1080/0028825X.2003.9512857. ISSN 0028-825X. S2CID 85295490.
  5. ^ "tūtae whetū - Māori Dictionary". Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  6. ^ Pallante, Joseph (19 July 2020). "The Alienness of White Basket Fungus". NZFungi. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  7. ^ "New Zealand's favourite fungus has been revealed". RNZ. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Ileodictyon cibarium" (PDF). Compiled by V Ryan for QMS Gasteromycetes Workshop. Queensland Mycological Society. November 2017 [August 2013].{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ Buchanan, Peter K.; Cooper, Jerry A. (2020). "John Buchanan's pre-1880 Records and Illustrations of New Zealand Fungi". Records of the Auckland Museum. 55: 29–36. ISSN 1174-9202. JSTOR 27008991.
  10. ^ Buchanan, John. Botanical Notebook, 1866-1886, MS-41. Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira. p. 161.
  11. ^ a b c Pablo Sandoval-Leiva; José Luis Henríquez; Larissa Trierveiler-Pereira (21 August 2014). "Additions to the Chilean phalloid mycota". Mycotaxon. 128 (1): 45–54. doi:10.5248/128.45. ISSN 0093-4666. Wikidata Q113536473.
  12. ^ Kuo, M. (August 2022). "Ileodictyon gracile (MushroomExpert.Com)". Retrieved 2022-08-17.
  13. ^ "Ileodictyon gracile" (PDF). Compiled by V Ryan for QMS Gasteromycetes Workshop. Queensland Mycological Society. November 2017 [August 2013].{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. ^ Altielys Casale Magnago; Larissa Trierveiler-Pereira; Maria Alice Neves (April 2013). "Phallales (Agaricomycetes, Fungi) from the tropical Atlantic Forest of Brazil" (PDF). Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 140 (2): 236–244. doi:10.3159/TORREY-D-12-00054.1. ISSN 1095-5674. Wikidata Q113536686.
  15. ^ Laessoe T, Pegler DN, Spooner B (1995). British Puffballs, Earthstars and Stinkhorns: An Account of the British Gasteroid Fungi. Kew, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens. p. 184. ISBN 0-947643-81-8.
  16. ^ Glynn, Angela Prain, Lizzy. "Ghost Droppings". Raglan Area School Community. Retrieved 27 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links Edit