A fist-size purple coral fungus, Clavaria zollingeri, was sighted in Svarfaðardalur, North Iceland, last autumn. The fungus is common in Oceania, North and South America and parts of Asia, but it’s rare in Europe and has never been seen in Iceland before.
A hobby photographer spotted the mushroom in a grazing area for sheep and sent a picture of it to mycologist Guðríður Gyða Eyjólfsdóttir. Guðríður told RÚV that she had been surprised at the discovery and two days later, she traveled to Svarfaðardalur to try and find the fungus.
However, in spite of thorough search, Guðríður couldn’t find it and she believes that it may have been eaten by sheep.
“What you see is the fungus’ fruits,” she explained. “However, the body is underground and if the weather will be favorable in the coming years, it’s likely that it will form other fruits and that more purple branches will appear.”
Click here to see a picture of the fungus in Svarfaðardalur.