The Fungus Within

The name's Hydnellum peckii, the bleeding tooth fungi,

And though I look dapper my story's unsung I

am more than just a blood-oozing cap,

in fact my friends say I'm a very fine chap.

Acquaint with me and you will unveil

that I've much to share, let me tell you my tale.


I love conifers such as spruce, fir, and pine,

Their roots and my hyphae as one intertwine.

I share my water and other nutrition;

they share their carbs— we're a coalition.

Soul mates bonded by ectomycorrhizae,

Mutualism 'twixt me and and a tree.


We're kin, you and I— human and Hydnellum,

At one stage we both had one rear flagellum.

And though we're related its not hard to see,

That your cells differ from my thread-like hyphae.

Another trait's you may find exotic,

is that much of the time I am dikaryotic.


Despite our relation, after you meet me,

you may think, "mmmm mushrooms" and then try to eat me.

Though I resemble a scrumptious French pastry,

I'm actually bitter; not the slightest bit tasty.

My cousins, chanterelles, you may find very yummy,

but if you eat me I will upset your tummy.


If you are feeling under the weather,

Some of my compounds may help you fell better.

So if you're a doctor with aging patients y'

could use me to help treat their dementia.

And if a green lifestyle is the direction you're moving,

then using my dyes could be rather behooving.


That's all for my tale but before ending,

Their's one last thing that's worth extending.

I hope you've learned some neat information,

a nugget to share in future conversation.

And now that you've met the bleeding Hydnellum,

If someone asks about me feel free to tell 'em.


Perhaps now you'd fancy, learning more about the author or taking a gander at his references.