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These Strange Mushrooms Appear to Bleed

Squeezing makes it worse.

It takes a brave soul to see a mushroom that appears to be bleeding but decides to squeeze it to see what happens anyway. These bizarre white fungus blooms seem to have the consistency of a thick stress-relief ball but have deep red droplets on their surface that look exactly like blood. When squeezed the “blood” seems to ooze out from inside it.  

The good news is this is a real mushroom you could grow in your very own witch’s garden to fascinate guests! The Hydnellum peckii is known under various common names such as bleeding tooth and devil’s tooth, probably found in witch’s grimoires and misunderstood by outsiders as literal descriptions.  

It is only the young fruiting bodies of the fungus that have a blood-like appearance when moist, turning brown and nondescript as they age. We probably don’t have to tell you not to eat a bloody-looking mushroom, but just in case, hey, don’t eat these! While they aren’t known to be specifically poisonous, they taste very bad with an acrid taste that lasts even in dried specimens. The sap-like droplets of bright red contain a strong anti-coagulant but the mushrooms are most highly prized by mushroom dyers who can create brilliant shades of blue or green when mordant is added.

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