Mr. G. M. Thomson also drew attention to the numerous forms of Fungi to be found at the present season of the year, and exhibited several species.
One of these, Aseroe rubra, developes underground like a small potato, and when mature it bursts from its coat and stands up from the soil like a crimson star-fish with five to eight radiating arms. The centre is filled with a gelatinous mass containing innumerable minute spores, and the whole has a most offensive smell, like putrid carrion. It appears to be very attractive to flies, which light on its disc, and must almost inevitably carry off and thus distribute the spores.
Another interesting species shown, of which great numbers appear every winter on the bank in front of the Middle District School, in Arthur-Street, is a large toadstool belonging to the genus Boletus, one of the Polyporeæ. This toadstool is, like so many others of the family, very excellent eating, and appears at a time when mushrooms are difficult to obtain.