Truffle Biology: Why do Fungus Make Sclerotia?
By getting to know the truffles we so dearly cherish, we develop a much deeper understanding and relationship with them. So here is some info to why they exist.
Magic truffles, more scientifically known as sclerotia, are wondrous nuggets of joy that have the ability to open up our minds and expand the consciousness within. Yet, have you ever wondered what they are, and why they form in the first place?
MAGIC TRUFFLES: THE PRODUCT OF CLEVER EVOLUTION
At their very essence, sclerotia are an evolutionary response to environmental extremes. They are basically nuggets of compact mycelium that have formed to act as a rich and nutritious food store. You could think of them as a protective bunker for moisture and nutrients. When the environment gets too harsh, sclerotia are formed to ensure that some mycelium survives. This can then reinvigorate and regenerate mycelium growth once the environmental hardship has passed.
To help ensure this survival, magic truffles are composed of a thick outer protective layer that houses a nutritious core. Although they do store some moisture, it is a surprisingly small amount (usually around 5-10%). This helps them survive for years in even the driest environments.
It is pretty amazing really, to think that something has evolved to ensure life continues even after the hardest of times. They sit dormant, for years at a time, waiting for the right conditions to spring back and facilitate growth – they are quite literally little nuggets of life.
In a somewhat metaphoric, as well as literal way, their characteristics have allowed them to withstand the War on Drugs. Metaphorically in the sense that whilst illegal in many places, magic truffles do not attract the ire of the war, as they are not technically mushrooms, and often go unnoticed, allowing pyschonauts to enjoy their delights in relative peace. When we talk a literal sense, magic truffles ensure that magic mushrooms can continue to thrive in the wilds, even when they are discovered by the authorities and wiped out on the surface. Once the danger is gone, magic truffles allow the mycelium to regenerate, and a next generation of mushrooms to emerge.
GROWING YOUR OWN MAGIC TRUFFLES
Despite this being an evolutionary response to a harsh environment, growing your own magic truffles is relatively easy. This offers pyschonauts looking to grow their own stash a much more discreet and resilient option than growing magic mushrooms.
It is quite amazing really, for an organism to be able to store a part of itself away for safe keeping. It just goes to show how diverse and adaptive life can be. Plus, it offers us pyschonauts a great way to grow a stash underground, ensuring it remains safe and hidden!