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THE FUNGUS TRADE.

The following notes on the fungus trade of New Zealand appear in a scientific contemporary : —During repent years the exportation of the edible fungus, Hirneola, has become an important industry in New Zealand. This fungus is saucer-shaped, jin to yin in diameter,dark reddish brown on the inside when dried, and gray on the outside. It is said that the odour of these plants distinguishes them for botanists, but their chief peculiarity is their growth. They spring up, it is believed, by hundreds and thousands in a single night, being produced, not from seed, but from a spawn which bears organs of fructification. Another peculiarity is that they absorb oxygen and give out carbonic acid, like animals, while other plants absorb the latter and give out the former. The commercial fungus of New Zealand is found in the North island, on various kinds of decayed timber, all the fungi, it is well known, favoring damp situations. Nine-tenths of the Province of Taranaki. 80 miles by 70 in extent, where it is found, is densely wooded. The p'ant is fou..d

n what is called new bush settlements, made by laborious clearing. The branches are lopped off and burned, the trunks resting on their own spurs, and sometimes on scaffolds built for them to fall on, begin to decay—not lyhig prone or,, the ground—and the fungus grows. It is prepared simply by letting it dry. China is its market, ant] it was first bought up by collectors at .'i cent per pound, and sold in San Fnncisco for fifteen, and in Hong Kong for twenty-three. According to the Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong, the! fungus is much prized there as a medicine, administered in the form of a decoction to purify the blood ; it has also been reported to be in use in China and Japan as a dye for silks. But its principal use among the Chinese is as an article of food; it forms the principal ingredient in their favorite soup, for which it is highly regarded on account of its gelatinous qualities and its ijich flavor.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18820119.2.17

Bibliographic details

THE FUNGUS TRADE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 538, 19 January 1882

Word Count
349

THE FUNGUS TRADE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 538, 19 January 1882

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