Purple mushroom emerging from the earth

Mauve Splitting Waxcap (Porpolomopsis lewelliniae)

This is the year of Fungi – it has been wet all year, and there are varieties of mushrooms and other fungus species popping up everywhere, so I am finally going to do some work on the species list. One of the most noticeable fungus species is the Mauve Splitting Waxcap with their clear mauve-purple colour. I’ve spotted the odd one or two in previous years, but this year they are everywhere.

For me, one of the most striking features of the Mauve Splitting Fungi is the colour. They shine through the greens, brown’s and russet shades of the bush, catching my eye. Especially on sunny days, or when it has been raining and everything gleams.

Two purple mushrooms growing in leaf litter in the Australian bushland.

As the name suggests, the cap splits as the mushroom grows larger.

I’ve had to do some research to have something to write in this post. It seems Mauve Splitting Waxcaps are native to Australia and New Zealand. They like to grow in wet leaf litter or sand, and often in moss. They are biotrophic, meaning they feed from a host without killing it. Biotrophic fungi need to keep the host alive because they feed on living cells. Some species of fungi are necrotrophic, meaning they kill the host plant and feed on dead cells.

It starts off as a small rounded button.

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