#5267 – Mushrooms
2018 50c Bioluminescent Life
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever
Issued: February 22, 2018
First Day City: Fort Pierce, FL
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 40,000,000 stamps
In warmer climates around the world, dozens of varieties of bioluminescent mushrooms light up the dense, dark forest floors.
Of the more than 100,000 known spices of mushrooms around the globe, about 80 of them are known to exhibit bioluminescence. While these mushrooms can be found all over the world (including in America), most are found in the tropics – specifically Brazil, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
Different species glow in different ways. Some glow just in the caps or part of the caps, some glow just in the stems, and others glow all over. The majority of mushrooms glow green, but some have been found to glow blue, red, or yellow. While their glow can only be seen at night, most mushrooms glow 24 hours a day.
Over the years, scientists have speculated as to why some species of mushrooms glow. A 2017 study found that some species of mushrooms glow to attract insects that can spread its spores. They also believe the glow could be used to scare away animals that might eat it. The glow could also be how the mushrooms release energy.
Glowing mushrooms are sometimes called foxfire. But the names of certain species can be as colorful as they are varied, with names such as eternal light, bleeding fairy helmet, and jack-o-lantern mushroom.