In Photos: Magnificent Czech Mushrooms

These fantastical images of the humble Czech mushroom could have been imagined by Tolkien
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What drives the Czech passion for mushroom hunting? We asked photographer Jaroslav Malý, a member of the Czech Mycological Society whose work has appeared in several books including the English-language Astounding Mushrooms, magazines, calendars, children’s games, and mobile apps. 

“Czechs have always been close to fungi. During the war and in times of misery it nurutured us for generations and we have passed on those experiences and recipes. We just have it in the genes.”

Many of the mushrooms featured in Mr. Malý’s stunning work come from Mělník and South Bohemia, though his own personal favorite site for picking are the woodlands surrounding Mladé Vožice. 

Mr. Malý is currently at work on a book about the medicinal powers of mushrooms. His website is a comprehensive online atlas of fungi (the good, the bad, the deadly) featuring many of the brilliantly hued specimens seen here.

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Black sarcoscypha, or scarlet elf cap

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Gomphidius glutinosus, or slimy spike cap

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Calvatia excipuliformis, or pestle puff ball

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Lepista nuda, or wood blewit

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Boletus calopus, or scarlet-stemmed bolete

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Hygrocybe psittacina, or parrot toad stool

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Amanita pantherina, or panther cap

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Caloscypha fulgens, or the dazzling cup

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Amanita muscaria, fly agaric

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Lycoperdon perlatu, or the devil’s snuff box

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Amanita muscaria, fly agaric

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Flammulina velutipes, or golden needle

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Clitocybe nebularis, or cloud funnel

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Boletus luridiformis, or red stemmed bolete


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