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Glimpse the underground forest of Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne
ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary
/ Categories: ZEALANDIA News

Glimpse the underground forest of Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne

Buried under the soil of trees and plants, a kingdom of life has waited all year to make an appearance. With autumn, comes the sprouting of the magical world of fungi in Zealandia.

Unseen underground is a mass of threads, like mould or cobweb, carrying water and food between plants and trees. In the mild, damp weather of autumn the fungus combines, swells with water, and shoots upwards from its underground home. The mushrooms we see every autumn are the fruiting bodies of fungi, coming up to spread their spores.

Fungi appear abruptly, even overnight, unfurling into all manner of shapes and sizes. They ripen and shed their spores – uncountable millions of them – before decaying and disappearing. This means every visit to Zealandia is different. One day you might be wonderstruck by a bright yellow jelly-like wax cap nestled in a mossy log, the next you might be delighted to discover the dainty parasols of Diminutive Mycena.

A host of mysterious and magical fungi awaits your next visit to Zealandia. Keep an eye out on damp, rotting logs and trees.

Taking material from Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne is generally not allowed.

We are on a 500-year mission to restore the sanctuary which highlights the importance of the respect we all must have for the ecosystem and the regenerating plants and wildlife. Just as we are careful about what is allowed inside the fence, we must be equally as careful about what is allowed out. The best way we can show this respect is by looking, appreciating and learning, but not touching.

Photos by Tong Hou, Hayley May

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