Most people consider mushrooms to be the small, ugly cousins of the plant kingdom, but theirs is a surprisingly beautiful and wonderful world waiting to be explored. These beautiful mushrooms, captured by enthusiastic nature photographers, are a far cry from the ones you find in the woods or your local grocery store.

Most mushrooms, as we know them, are actually just the reproductive structure of the fungus they belong to – their fungal networks expand far further underground, and some fungi don't even sprout the sort of mushrooms that we're used to seeing. In fact, depending on your definition of “organism,” the largest living organism in the world is a fungus – there's a honey mushroom colony in Oregon that occupies about 2,000 acres of land!

#1

Puffballs

Puffballs

Martin Pfister Report

HollyMason
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I stepped on one last week in sandals! The cold yellow powder spraying on my foot definitely made me a little more cautious walking around!

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#2

Mycena Chlorophos

Mycena Chlorophos

Steve Axford Report

#4

Rhodotus Palmatus

Rhodotus Palmatus

unknown Report

#6

Schizophyllum Commune

Schizophyllum Commune

Steve Axford Report

#7

Amethyst Deceiver

Amethyst Deceiver

Eric Balcon Report

#8

Panus Fasciatus

Panus Fasciatus

Steve Axford Report

NancyGooch
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

These all remind me of Disney's Fantasia. Ethereal and beautiful!

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#9

Clathrus Ruber

Clathrus Ruber

Patricia Woods Report

#10

Porcelain Fungus

Porcelain Fungus

Bernhard Pfister Report

#11

Cup Fungus

Cup Fungus

Megan Lorenz Report

#13

Leratiomyces

Leratiomyces

Steve Axford Report

#16

Cyathus Striatus

Cyathus Striatus

Steve Axford Report

#17

Coprinus Comatus

Coprinus Comatus

Steve Greaves Report

IpivanderErve
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When young, no open hood, you can eat them. They taste good.

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#19

Geastrum Minimum

Geastrum Minimum

Juan Carlos Poveda Molero Report

#20

Aseroe Rubra

Aseroe Rubra

Mark Watson Report

#22

Puffball Mushroom

Puffball Mushroom

Roeselien Raimond Report

VesselinaMartinova
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Very handy mushroom. If you pit it on a bleeding wound it stops the bleeding with an antiseptic effect.

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#23

Crepidotus

Crepidotus

Steve Axford Report

KristenHz
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I am beginning to think that mushrooms are the equivalent of sea anemones on land.

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#24

Tiny Golden Mushrooms

Tiny Golden Mushrooms

Maneesh Report

MariaCetrola
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Each one is more beautiful than the last. Absolutely love them all.

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#25

Chorioactis

Chorioactis

Report

#26

Hairy Mycena

Hairy Mycena

Steve Axford Report

#27

Amanita Muscaria

Amanita Muscaria

unknown Report

Anejo Conejo
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They believe that people ate magic mushrooms and thought these were what is now 'Santa Claus' and that reindeer could fly.

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#28

Cup Fungi

Cup Fungi

Steve Axford Report

KristenHz
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.

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#29

Laccaria Amethystina

Laccaria Amethystina

Tatyana Bulyonkova Report

#31

Tiny Orange Mushrooms

Tiny Orange Mushrooms

Report

#32

Entoloma Hochstetteri

Entoloma Hochstetteri

New Zealand Wild Report

#33

Lactarius Indigo

Lactarius Indigo

unknown Report

#34

Mycena Viscidocruenta

Mycena Viscidocruenta

Arthur Chapman Report

#35

Cyptotrama Aspratum

Cyptotrama Aspratum

Steve Axford Report

OMGhonestly
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The dear little orange spiky things again

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#36

Black Fungus

Black Fungus

Steve Axford Report

#37

Panaleous Sphinctrinus

Panaleous Sphinctrinus

Report

Kyle Eaton
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Such simple mushrooms, but its the background that really catches the eye.

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#39

Clavaria Zollingeri

Clavaria Zollingeri

David Bosworth Report

Kyle Eaton
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like firesticks! (a bush like plant)

#41

Oudemansiella Mucida

Oudemansiella Mucida

Tony Kav Report

AnejoConejo
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

These remind me if when Ace Ventura has a drum solo. Lol

#43

Illuminati

Illuminati

www.flickr.com Report

#44

Entoloma Hochstetteri

Entoloma Hochstetteri

Ivan Richard Report

#47

Stemonitis Axifera

Stemonitis Axifera

Steve Axford Report

atagonist
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That is actually a slime mold, related to amoeba rather than to fungi. They're pretty crazy organisms.

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#48

Xylaria Hypoxylon

Xylaria Hypoxylon

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Annie Doneva
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's a damn great shot !!!! About the mushroom - no words needed....

#49

Octopus Stinkhorn (Devils Fingers)

Octopus Stinkhorn (Devils Fingers)

Bite Your Bum Report

#50

Clavaria Zollingeri

Clavaria Zollingeri

Report

LeeHwang
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

some of these are utterly creepy. But so beautiful to look at *0*

#51

Scutellinia Scutellata

Scutellinia Scutellata

Steve Axford Report

#53

Bay Bolete

Bay Bolete

Report

AnnieDoneva
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Stoenescu, all your photographs are so beautiful. And every time I see one I can tell that it's yours, without seeing your name under it.

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#54

Helvella Lacunosa

Helvella Lacunosa

Damon Tighe Report

#56

Marasmius Rotula

Marasmius Rotula

Rich Saidak Report

shroomed
Community Member
8 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

These remind me of jellyfishes (: So cute

#59

Purple Mushrooms In The Woods

Purple Mushrooms In The Woods

Report

#60

Morchella

Morchella

Report

#61

Hexogonia Artemisia

Hexogonia Artemisia