Mushroom lights up the night in Brazil: Researcher finds bioluminescent fungus not seen since 1840


In 1840, renowned English botanist George Gardner reported a strange sight from the streets of Vila de Natividade in Brazil: A group of boys playing with a glowing object that turned out to be a luminescent mushroom. They called it "flor-de-coco," and showed Gardner where it grew on decaying fronds at the base of a dwarf palm. Gardner sent the mushroom to the Kew Herbarium in England where it was described and named Agaricus gardneri in honor of its discoverer. The species was not seen again until 2009.

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