Name: Floating “Old Man” Morel
Latin: Morchella Senis
Habitat: church foundations, caves, subway tunnels
Habits: floating appr. 1.5 meters off the ground, sporing when threatened, polite coughing
Reproduction: follows victims around for days, once the victims tires of pursuit and goes to rest, fungus floats above subject and sheds spores.
Description: The Floating “Old Man” (or “Wise Man”) mushroom is a curious fungus with curious habits. Morchella Senis spends most of its life underground as mycelium. After approximately 90 years it fruits into a body with a rind 3 inches thick that, when cured and ground, makes fine treatment for scabies.
After a gestation period of 30 days the rind splits open to reveal the tender fruiting body, which will engage its hover mechanism to search for prey. In a method of selection unknown, it finds a human with reclusive habits and follows them. Often, these victims are homeless or transient in nature. Once engaged in pursuit, the mushroom can go for days on end without dropping.
Once the victim inevitably drops from exhaustion, the mushroom with float above them and release spores, leading to a fatal respiratory infection. The purpose of this live “sowing” is unknown, but the result is clear: once the victim is buried (or wanders off to die) mycelium descend from the body and once again the cycle begins anew.
Once shed of its spores, the fruiting body will float aimlessly for days on end, now a dried-out husk, until captured or rained upon. Once reconstituted, it goes well with pasta and white wine and is said to be an excellent substitute for prosciutto antipasto.