Crystal brains and witches’ butter: discover the fabulous world of fungi

Crystal brains and witches’ butter: discover the fabulous world of fungi

The UK’s woods are full of strange specimens. But they aren’t easy to identify – even for the experts

A host of otherworldly characters are squatting in the wood. Conventional toadstools make way for more gelatinous bodies slopping around fallen trees, dead wood and tree stumps during the coldest months of the year. Many are wood-decaying fungi – things that look like crusts, skin, slime and bits of brain that use enzymes to break down and digest wood and other dead plant material.

Related: Scientists find two new species of fungi that turn flies into ‘zombies’

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