Deadly Poison Fire Coral fungus found near Cairns

Podostroma cornu-damae. Ray Palmer CC-BY-SA

The Guardian reports that one of the world’s most deadly fungi Podostroma cornu-damae  or Poison Fire Coral has been found in rainforest near Cairns. Fungimapper Ray Palmer says he first observed the fungus in 2016, with additional sightings in April and May this year.

First thought to be native to Japan and Korea, P. cornu-damae is believed to be toxic to touch – though another article translated from Japanese being shared widely in the community of mycologists and fungi enthusiasts questions just how poisonous it is. James Cook University mycologist Matt Barrett says it is likely to be more widespread, so keep an eye out and log any sightings via our iNaturalist project Fungimap Australia.

See more of Ray Palmer’s fungi photography in our gallery.