Monday, January 27, 2014

If you go out in the woods today

be careful what you eat

Recently I noticed an unusual red sap excretion on the trunk of an American Hornbeam (Ironwood  - Ostrya virginiana) tree behind my house.  So I photographed it for my online image catalogue.

Turns out it’s likely something called Tree Slime, a Cryptococcus macerans yeast infection.

While interesting in colour, it’s not something to be eaten, as it can cause a Meningoencephalitis  infection that can develop into a very serious epilepsy and even perhaps be fatal.

Now I’m confident you don’t make a habit of tasting every strange thing you find in the woods, however interesting it may be.  But this is one you certainly don’t want to try.

Here are a couple more closeup photos.