• The Little Studio and Saint-Gaudens' home

    Saint-Gaudens

    National Historic Site New Hampshire

Mushrooms and Other Fungi

Cortinarius heliotropicusmushroom at Saint-Gaudens NHS

Close up photograph of a blue, Cortinarius heliotropicus mushroom at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

Over 70 species of mushrooms have been identified at Saint-Gaudens NHS, although there are many other species present. Mushrooms are a type of fungus with a fleshy fruiting body. Most consist of underground filaments and a gilled cap supported by a stalk. The gills are loaded with spores that are shed to propagate their species. Mushrooms thrive in cool and moist environments and a diversity of species are found throughout the park during the summer and fall.

Fungi are distinct from animals and plants by mode of nutrition. While animals ingest food and plants manufacture their own, mushrooms secrete enzymes to digest surrounding organic matter. They then absorb the released nutrients. By decomposing dead or decaying organisms and recycling nutrients, fungi serve an important ecological function.

Did You Know?

Saint-Gaudens' home as it appeared in 1885 when he first saw it.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ home was actually built in 1817 as an Inn. A large ball room once occupied half of the second floor. When Augustus first saw the house in 1885, he thought it dreary and forlorn.