Armillaria gallica, the giant fungus

‘Humongous fungus’: 25 years later, this Armillaria gallica is bigger than first thought, says researcher

by Elaine Smith, University of Toronto


The Armillaria gallica fungus, which is growing in a forest on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is at least 2,500 years old, weighs 400,000 kilograms and covers about 70 hectares. Credit: James B. Anderson


A giant individual of the fungus, Armillaria gallica, or honey mushroom, first studied 25 years ago by James B. Anderson, a professor emeritus of biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, is not only alive and well but is older and larger than Anderson originally estimated.

The fungus‘s cellular mutations may offer an interesting counterpoint to cancer cell growth, says Anderson, a specialist in fungal genetics, population biology and evolution…