Giant Mushroom Amazes Lawrence Residents

By: AP
By: AP

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ An unusually large and rare mushroom has appeared for a second straight year in Lawrence.

The mushroom is two-and-a-half-feet wide and weighs more than 15 pounds.

It is growing at the the base of a white oak tree in north Lawrence.

In late June and early July, the mushroom was cream-colored and looked like a large flower. It's now a brown moldy fungus that smells like rotting vegetation.

It's called a berkeleyi (Bur-KEHL'-ee-i).

Sherry Kay, secretary and founder of the Kaw Valley Mycological Society identified the mushroom last year. She says it's a type that grows in places like New Zealand New Guinea and China, but hasn't been seen in Kansas for 50 to 75 years.

Kay says the mushroom is likely to reappear for years and will eventually kill the oak tree it's under.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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