What are Wood-Rotters?
They’re fungi that do exactly that. They rot the wood. And in rotting the wood, this class of fungi returns the dead or felled tree—trunk, branches, twigs, roots and all—to the soil. They thereby produce a nutrient-rich humus that’ll support neighbouring trees for centuries to come. Well done, chaps.
What, you thought it a class of fairies? Well, yes, they are that as well. Indeed, perhaps amongst the best known.
Such delicate, lace-trimmed helmets these troopers wear
But not all tree-rotters look like that. Here, three types try to obscure someone’s memorable graffiti
Get a look at those red nipples and stems! Flash, hey.
Though others prefer to kit out in gold and honey
And yet others like to make their mark by sitting on moss . . . here on a fallen willow
While these wood-rotters prefer loads of company. Like an entire army of rotters!
But not this one. Branching out on its own; gold, solitary, and proud!
Compared with the previous, these could be ‘ghost troopers’
Not all rotters are gregarious. Here, some pallid almost-aloners
Perhaps not as flash as those with red knobs. Yet with their glistening hats and their dark red stems, they’re obviously posing for a photo. So I obliged them
Could these rotters be widows, wearing grey veils?
Saving my favourite to last. A cleft-clustering troop with purple-knobbed helmets, all aglisten