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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley


As well as looking like a snuffed-out candle wick, this fungus can also resemble a deer’s antlers, hence its other name Stag’s Horn. First Nature describe it as a “ubiquitous little rotter”, and you should have no difficulty finding it at Gallows Hill or on the Chevin. It tends to attack wood after other types of fungi have already started breaking it down. It is bioluminescent – it literally glows in the dark – but not brightly. This phenomenon is easier to see if you cut into the wood to expose the mycelium (the main body of the fungus), or look at other bioluminescent fungi like Honey Fungus. Incredibly, Candlesnuff contains compounds that are active against some human carcinomas, a chance discovery made at Bradford University.

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