Gymnopilus junonius is often called Spectacular Rustgill, Laughing Jack or Laughing Gym, (names given because it contains the same psycho-active chemicals as some of the psilocybe) and is found usually on dead wood, thouogh we found speciemens at the base of living trees. It differs from another wood loving fungus that grows in large clusters, the Australian Honey Fungus Armillaria luteobubalina, in that the gills of G junonius are yellow, slowly turning to rust brown with age. Older specimens are invariably crowded with maggots and other bugs.
The stems are very tough, and young specimens have a veil that decays to a ring near the cap, which often eventually disappears.
Gymnopilus junonius are intensely bitter to the taste and often contains psilocybin and psilocin. According to Tom Volk (http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/apr2005.html), this this is one of two mushrooms that in Japan earned the title of waraitake, whose kanji (symbols in Japanese representing ideas or words) literally translate as "laughing mushroom" (the other being Panaeolus papilionaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Quel., which can also contain psilocybin and serotonin) (Arora 1986, Takahashi 2004).
- Gymnopilus junonius aka Spectacular Rustgill (Fungimap p37), May, 2007, Coonan Street Walk, Lane Cove River National Pa
- Gymnopilus junonius, young specimens with veil still intact, growing at the base of a living tree in suburban Killara, N
- Gymnopilus junonius growing at the base of a living Angophera, Blackbutt Creek Walk, Killara and Gordon, NSW Australia.
- Gymnopilus junonius growing at the base of a tree, Twin Creeks Walk, Roseville and Lindfield, June 2010.
- Gymnopilus junonius (detail) growing at the base of a tree, Twin Creeks Walk, Roseville and Lindfield, June 2010.