Fluorescent Mushrooms of Kenting: Night Elves in the Bamboo Woods

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Fluorescent Mushrooms of Kenting: Night Elves in the Bamboo Woods

You thought you’d heard it all when we introduced Lovers Tears Mushroom, mainly growing in Manzhou county of Kenting.
But wait, did you know that there is also a Night Elf Mushrooms found deep in the dark bamboo woods of Sheding Nature Park in Kenting? Read on to know more!

Entering the plum rain season in Taiwan, the fluorescent mushrooms in Sheding Park of Kenting National Park, are known as the “Night Elves.” in summer, starts to glow and come alive after dark.

After the rain, it is like a small mysterious lamp that turns on automatically.

A small green light, blooming in the pitch-black bamboo forests in the park where you even can’t see your fingers, the dream beauty index is beyond the table, it is one of the environmental indicator species, only found in a few areas in Taiwan, and the rain season is the most popular season every summer.

glowing mushrooms of kenting

Luminous Mushrooms, also known as Fluorescent Mushrooms and Noctilucent Mushrooms, belong to the mushroom family and are distributed in Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Java, and Hong Kong.

It is actually a special kind of luminous fungus, that can emit light.

It is a magnificent creature that emits cold light like fireflies. Light needs to be excited by an external light source. A chemical reaction in the organism produces cold light.

The process of luminescence starts, when a protein called luciferase oxidizes a chemical molecule called luciferin, and photons are generated in the process so that it can glow at night.

The process of luminescence starts, when a protein called luciferase oxidizes a chemical molecule called luciferin, and photons are generated in the process so that it can glow at night.

fluorescent mushrooms in daytime

In the daylight, these mushroom looks like any other mushroom in the woods. 

This type of fungus grows in low-altitude forest areas in spring and summer, so Sheding Nature Park, right in the extreme south of the Eluanbi area is ideal place for them to be. 

There are nine species recorded in Taiwan, and also, there are not many related studies; it can be said that generally, they emit cold light.

In Taiwan, these mushrooms can only be found in a few areas, such as Alishan and Chiayi, and it needs to grow in a humid and pollution-free environment. A very interesting member of Kenting Plant Biodiversity, indeed. 

Fungus is very picky about the growth environment, so it is rare; the light’s purpose is to expand the breeding population and attract nocturnal insects or mollusks to eat to help spore dispersal.

After entering the plum rain season, the fluorescent mushrooms in Sheding Park “exploded”.

They are usually white in color and emit a faint green light at night after the rain.

North American residents call them “Fox Fire” and “Ghost Fire,”  while in Taiwan, they are known as “Night Elf,” which was identified as a new species by the Department of Life Sciences of Chung Hsing University after morphological and DNA sequence comparison, named “Kenting Xiao Mushroom 墾丁小菇,” which can only survive for 2 to 3 days after maturity.

Unlike Lovers Tears of Manzhou, these mushrooms are only of ornamental value and cannot be eaten. Because the park is entirely dark, it is best to be accompanied by a local guide if you want to return home safely after meeting these Night Elves. 

I wonder if Amida Elf Valley Park had thought about this mushroom when designing their park?

ghost fire in kenting

Lovers Tears Mushroom

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2 Comments
    1. not easy to find, a eco tour guide is needed to guide you there, they are in a national park protected area

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