One Of The 'World's Rarest' Mushrooms Was Recently Spotted In Texas & It Hisses At People

It only exists in two other states and Japan.

Texas Staff Writer
A Texas star mushroom. Right: An area inside Inks Lake State Park in Texas.

A Texas star mushroom. Right: An area inside Inks Lake State Park in Texas.

The Lone Star State has quite a unique cast of interesting creatures that live around the area, including but not limited to creepy insects, rare animals, and "dangerous" beings. Adding to that list is the creepy fungi called Chorioactis geaster, nicknamed the "Texas star mushroom."

The fuzzy, star-shaped fungus emits a creepy hissing sound when it opens, typically after it rains, according to the 2021 legislative bill that established it as the state's own official mushroom.

One of these spooky guys was spotted on February 5 along a trail in Inks State Park tucked in the hill country of Burnet, TX, a Facebook post shows.

The chilling shroom is actually one of the "rarest" in the world, as it only pops up in four places: Japan, Minnesota, Oregon, and the Lone Star State, during the late autumn and into winter.

It's not known when the species got here, but since the 1990s, researchers with the Forth Worth Botanic Garden have documented them popping up all over north Texas.

Research has proved that it thrives by attaching itself to decaying cedar elm tree stumps.

If you're looking to spot one yourself, be on the lookout for its various stages.

It starts out as a fuzzy brown, 3-4 inch capsule shaped like a cigar and eventually splits open with an eerie hiss while a "hazy cloud of spores" explodes, revealing the iconic orange star shape.

If you're a bit wary of mushrooms right now due to HBO'sThe Last Of Us, you don't need to worry about being infected with a "zombie fungus" because Mycology experts say the Texas Star mushrooms aren't poisonous at all.

Brittany Cristiano
Texas Staff Writer
Brittany Cristiano is a Staff Writer for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on viral TikToks, and trending local characters in the Southern United States. She is based in Houston, Texas.
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