It resembles a matchstick with its yellow to orange head: the marsh hood fungus has been named mushroom of the year 2023 by the German Society for Mycology (DGFM) based in Karlsruhe.
The mushroom, which is about two to four centimeters in size and has a glassy-white stalk, grows primarily in near-natural, swampy areas. The styles lift the three to six millimeter long head section out of the water. The fungus decomposes plant debris such as leaves, needles and spruce cones. According to the information, it occurs throughout Europe. In Germany, the marsh hood mushroom is particularly common in the Bavarian Forest, in the Harz Mountains, the Thuringian Forest and the Black Forest.
According to the DGFM, longer dry periods as a result of global warming are causing more problems for the fungus. But the habitat of the fungus is also endangered by major forest damage, since it is dependent on largely undisturbed, swampy forest areas. In order to give it more living space again, society advocates allowing the forest to remain dynamic and leaving more dead trees to provide shade and moisture storage.
According to the information, how this could work can already be seen in the former spruce forests of the Bavarian Forest National Park. In just a few decades, the mixed mountain forest there should again offer habitats for the marsh hood fungus and many other species.