The Texas State Mushroom Hisses in an Incredibly Weird Way
Some people love mushrooms, some people don't care for them and some folks are actually afraid of them. This is not going to change that last groups mind.
Texas is known for a lot of big things, like longest highway, the biggest boots and the biggest things in general. We even have big food.
We also have the most state animals and we also have a state mushroom ... the weirdest mushroom you've ever heard of.
Enter the Chorioactis geaster also known as the "Devil's Cigar". This 'shroom isn't one of the tasty ones nor is it one of the fun ones that take you on vision quests or get you seeing dragons.
This little guy is just plain odd. It earned its spot as the Texas state mushroom because it opens up into a star formation. Perfect for the lone star state, right? The star thing is pretty cool but the Devil's Cigar has another trick.
What Makes The Devil's Cigar Mushroom So Weird?
This thing actually hisses. Yes, a hissing mushroom ... I am not making this up.
The mushroom grows on the stumps of either cedar elms (in Texas) or oaks (in Japan). It is nicknamed the "Texas Star" because its fruit body splits open into a star-like formation with anywhere from four to seven segments. It also makes a hissing sound and releases a smoky cloud of spores - onlyinyourstate.com
Wow, that's crazy. I like mushrooms, (of ALL sorts), but I don't think I'm messing with this guy. Apparently, it's not dangerous but it isn't edible either. It's extremely rare and can only be found in a few parts of Texas and Japan. (See a map here and pics here.)
Where Can You Find A Devil's Cigar Mushroom?
It's not easy.
If you really want to see one, Inks Lake State Park, near Austin, is probably your best bet. Inks Lake is also home to the Devil's Water Hole.
If you can't find the devil's cigar, you can always cliff dive into his water hole.